BARREN WOMB – new album out

BARREN WOMB – new album out

Photo Credit: Hanna Fauske

Since their inception in late 2011, Nordic heavy noise rockers BARREN WOMB have been raising both eyebrows and hell with their minimalist approach, earsplitting volume and defiant experimentation. The duo make efficient use of crude dynamics and the power of the riff to hammer their point across.

BARREN WOMB released their fourth album “Lizard Lounge”, a bombastic slab of modern noise rock in the vein of Daughters, Metz and Viagra Boys, to critical acclaim through Loyal Blood Records in 2020. They have played close to 300 shows in the US and Europe so far, sharing stages with among others Entombed A.D., Voivod, Conan, Nomeansno and Årabrot, and have played festivals like SXSW, by:Larm, Tallinn Music Week, Øya and Pstereo.

“Chemical Tardigrade”, the duo’s fifth album, is out digitally and on limited vinyl through Fucking North Pole Records/Blues For The Red Sun today, February 16th, 2024.

The band was formed out of the ashes of the amazing Like Rats From A Sinking Ship (as in an unwilling act of clairvoyance) to become Barren Womb in 2011. A dualistic, nihilistic force majeure that might as well have imploded straight off the imagery launch ramp or fell off the tour trail in some Godforsaken east block city (a crusty, Houdini-worthy equivalent to the Gumball disappearance of David Hasselhoff, if you may), never to be seen again. By certain means it’s quite the achievement to have merely survived physically. And mentally. But somehow, they have. Against most odds, perhaps. Bands come and bands fold, especially those willing to undertake the most excruciating yet endearing form of DIY touring.   

But they have just kept on touring. And releasing new albums. And touring. And releasing new albums. Amazing albums. And touring. And some 12 years later, they return once again with their fifth and – in my humblest of opinions – strongest one yet. 

From the tribalesque percussive opening of McLembas and through the entire 38 minute chaotic-yet-focused journey, guided by their trademark ingenious song titles (“D-Beatles” soaring high as a contender for ‘Title of the Decade’), Barren Womb refines the very idea that every fan of the band know them to be. And beyond. 

I could throw a bunch of alt. rock/(post)-hardcore band references up in the air, but whether it be Drive Like Jehu, At the Drive-In, …And You Will Know Us by the Trail of Dead, Queens of the Stone Age, Afghan Wigs, Helmet, Fugazi or Thursday, referencing other bands simply doesn’t do Barren Womb justice. At the core; twangy, complex yet infectiously catchy chord progressions and harmonies and aggressive, yet profoundly groovy (as in (slam)danceable)) rhythm-patterns.  

For anyone (wise enough to) follow this band, it’s been evident that its two members, guitarist/vocalist Tony Gonzalez and drummer/vocalist Timo Silvola, have been musically busy in the recent years outside the realm of Barren Womb, creating, releasing music and touring with their respective alter egos Velcro Dog and Twin Serpent. With Silvola guest appearing in Velcro Dog with his banjo and Gonzalez playing guitar in the Silvola-led blackgrass orchestra of Twin Serpent. Both bands reveal musical and harmonic layers and nuances that most definitely have been evident in Barren Womb’s previous work, but which I suspect has manifested even more clearly and pointed in this very release. Most likely do to the fact that they’ve let those melodic movements develop freely in their off-shoot projects. This is very much evident in tracks like “Bug Out Bag”, “Campfire Chemist” and the majestically heartfelt ender, “Dung Lung”. Here, both singers display their extended tonal and emotional range like perhaps never before in the Barren Womb universe, sending thoughts and nods in the directions of underground titans such as Lanegan and Dulli. 

This record is equally a celebration of the frail yet vigorous concept of living, an expressive act of exorcism, emotionally and musically.

Album Credits:
Barren Womb are Timo Silvola & Tony Gonzalez.
All music and lyrics by Barren Womb.
Recorded and mixed late 2022/early 2023 by Eirik Øien at Fjøset Lystudio.
Produced by Eirik Øien and Barren Womb.
Electronics on track , , and by Eirik Øien.
Mastered By Alan Douches at West West Music.
Illustrations and design by Tony Gonzalez
Fucking North Pole Records: 
Blues For The Red Sun:

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