The Barrens is a five piece psychedelic rock band made up of Colin Fitzgerald (vocals, guitar, bass), Debbie Chou (vocals, keyboard), Mike Koene (guitar, vocals), Chris Gersbeck (drums, vocals) and Jay Sharp (bass) formed in upstate New York. They released their debut album last year and have been causing a stir in the underground music scene with their raw and powerful sound since.
Having been compared to bands such as The Flaming Lips, Radiohead and Jefferson Airplane, they have quite clearly made a good impression on most people and after just the first listen of the record it’s not hard to see why.
The Barrens have an older, more familiar sound to their music than most new bands around today. It’s a nostalgic sound for that of the 60s or 70s. Songs like Felt are reminiscent of bands like Led Zeppelin due to the guitar riffs which is why it is such a great second track after Claw Remains. However other tracks like Sagaminopteron Psychedelicum have a newer feel to them sounding at times like something The Foo Fighters would have produced. There are also tracks on there that are similar in sound and style to Feeder such as Yellow Cigarette.
This record is a complete mixture of old and new which is fantastic. Their psychedelic influences can be heard in tracks like Claw Remains, Never Knew and Face the Eighth. The Barrens have placed the 60s and 70s into a modern world and given it just enough of a twist to make it work for them.
By having more than one singer being the main singer on different tracks it stops any of the songs from becoming plain and boring. With each song, you hear something new, something you hadn’t noticed in the previous track. There isn’t a song on here that sounds like anything out there at the moment or like anything else on the record. Each song is like a breath of fresh air.
The Barrens have produced a solid album that somehow manages to combine the best of the 60s and 70s folk, punk, rock and psychedelic scenes into a bundle of eleven outstanding tracks. Songs like Felt are rock, Bottom of the Well is more pop while tracks like Out of the Rain combine a Pink Floyd psych rock feel. It’s a truly magnificent album that will keep you nothing but entranced.