Whilst the concept of Norwegian noise-punk might put some people off, the latest offering from Barren Womb is full of energy and bravado, and is probably the best thing to come out of Norway since the last Kvelertak record.
The Sun’s Not Yellow, It’s Chicken is a 13 song, 42 minute journey through the collective musical mind of Timo Silvola and Tony Gonzahl, and the sheer fact that two people can create such a multi-layered, impressive, technical wall of noise should be reason enough to check this record out.
Sounding like The Hives covering Refused, the band have only been around since 2011 and have a refreshingly humble approach to the music industry – simply looking to make music that they like, when they like, for the love of making music. Opening tracks Kill Hicks and Will You Be God’s Art Or Satan’s Graffiti? are pure punk rock fury, that grab the attention early on with Refused-esque grooves and monolithic bass.
The ability to blend concepts and thematic styles from other genres is what helps to make the record a mixed bag, it plays as an advantage by showing off how wide-ranging the songwriting of this pair can be, but also makes it the only downfall. Mixing elements of black metal, hardcore punk and grindcore gives the album a strange flow, going from 1:30 blasts of punk to 9:00 epics feels odd and disjointed, making you double check to see if you’ve accidentally hit shuffle and you’re listening to a different band altogether.
Don’t get us wrong, the tracks aren’t bad. Not at all. It’s a 9:00 epic for a reason, and the appeal and respect in this record comes from the fact that you’ve got two musicians making the art that they want to make. Bong Aqua combines frenetic punk energy, with deeply atmospheric middle sections with jazz-type instrumentals over the top. It’s bizarre, but in the best way possible.
Segway to Heaven is the big closer, the epic, the punk rock opera of the record. Like the soundtrack to a star collapsing, it could even be classed as a post-metal song. It’s got elements of Isis and Neurosis, and ebbs and flows over 9 minutes of loud and quiet, making it a completely different ending to the record than how it opened. A phenomenal closing track to a weird, but impressive, record.
Standout Tracks: Will You Be God’s Art Or Satan’s Graffiti?, Live, Fast, Die, Segway to Heaven
For Fans Of: Refused, Bad Religion
Written By: Chris Robinson