REVIEW: Little Barrie – ‘Shadow’

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This album gives off funky vibrations that make you feel like a part of the circle in Eric Forman’s basement. With a very active wah pedal and a fantastic use of empty space, Shadow should be served with a side of acid and a shag rug for dessert. Shadow starts off with the hypnotically grungy “Bonneville” and immediately lulls listeners into a potentially purple haze. The echoing vocals offer a soothing aesthetic and they mesh perfectly with the jazzy drums and slow, creeping guitars. After “Bonneville” comes a less soothing, wah-filled track entitled “Fuzz Bomb.” This song leaves a bit more to be desired, but Little Barrie pulls you right back into hypnosis with “Stop or Die.” This slow moving song sways like the trees on a breezy summer day, leaving the listener thirsty for more and unable to move.

The guitar throughout the album nicely emulates the band’s overall retro vibe. “It Don’t Count” has a muted, understated guitar solo reminiscent of The Doors. The slowness of the solos adds a sexiness to the record that many rock bands neglect these days. Like a lyrical innuendo from Zeppelin or Jim Morrison’s face, something about Little Barrie is undeniably alluring. Jumping back to the future, Little Barrie also possesses a very White Stripes-like edge. Songs like “Pauline” have that Jack White flair: something dissonant and something jazzy, but just the right amount of each.

The echo effect on the vocals also add to the band’s sensual seventies vibe. Without being to monotone, they stay calm, with a slight rasp, and never get too overbearing. Acting as one of the instruments, the vocals utilize silence exceptionally well. They let the guitar, drums and bass have their fills while not entirely disappearing into the background. The songs are just written extremely well. Little Barrie gives their music a measured grittiness. Shadow is like a musical lava lamp, encompassing the sweaty, happy, drug induced lure of the summer of love.

Little Barrie