Little Barrie - Stand Your Ground
Slowly but surely, since the release of their understated debut album around a year ago and on tour long before that, Little Barrie have been preaching the virtues of the retro scripture through funky vibes and an appreciation of The Who and The Cramps. Via opening double whammy of the blues rushed ‘Bailing Out’ and the aching whine-out of previous single ‘Love You’, they add more potency to their cause. ‘Pin That Badge’ uses some Red Hot Chili Peppers style funk rock, to draw out feeling and highlight the vocal versatility of the earnest Barry Cadogan. This signals a turn into emotion building, as the tracks start to get more drawn out and a bluesy drive comes out in the backing range.
The moody feel helps the band produce their full range of fuzzy instrumental skill and it suits Cadogan’s range, standing out in the forlorn ‘Green Eyed Fool’. The percussion rumble, sliding and aching guitars along with the hurried, slightly disco vocal push gives ‘Pretty Pictures’ heart, soul and true emotion. This is what retro music should truly be about. The album tends to reach plateaus and then maintain the same momentum, something that can be a little grating, as you get the impression that this outfit has the ability to keep climbing. However, there is nothing wrong with reaching a groove and keeping it, especially when authenticity is prevalent throughout.
With this second album, Little Barrie has added a solid The Who lauding instrumental base to their armour and a more groove friendly slant. However, their doubters will continue to argue that the range is still limited, despite a very promising start. The early funky exploration renders this offering a step forward. This is something that if built upon, it could help Little Barrie to produce a third album, in a year or so that pushes them through to the sort of recognition that many thought they were destined for a while ago.
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