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Release Date: 16th February 2018

Label: Spartan Records / Loyal Blood Records

Barren Womb, you may remember them from classics such as ‘Obi-Wan Chernobyl’ and ‘Piss Jugs’. The two piece Nordic noise rockers now bring us their new album, ‘Old Money New Lows’.

The first thing you notice about this release, is perhaps the song titles aren’t quite as wild as they used to be. Not sure if i’m sad about that or not, but this is an evolving sound from Barren Womb, and the song titles allude to this subtle shift.

The album thumps into life with ‘Crook Look’, with a slack skinned drum beat, closely followed by distorted vocals sounding like they are spoken through a 2 way radio and spacious guitar riff. The production sounds off, but no doubt this is intentional, as this is a raucous and punchy opening track. This is also where you also get a sense of the pop sensibility not seen before from Timo and Tony. The chorus is catchy, rhythmic and even melodic with a beaut of a chord progression building towards the end, as the song finishes as it started, thumping away at its hypnotic tempo.

Track 2 asks us, if its true we are what we eat, wouldn’t we all by now be ‘Mystery Meat’? Lyrically this is an interesting one, perhaps the horse meat scandal reached Scandinavia a little after the UK?! The verses are angry, the chorus poppy, and theres a super melancholy interlude in the middle, before the duo realise they are still angry, and scream the track title at us once more.

‘Slumlord Millionaire’ brings about some more interesting song writing. Almost a “Park-life” spoken poem constitutes the verses, and the chorus is gritty. Its a charming track, chunky and discordant at times, however the minute and a half of distortion at the end might work live when you leave the stage, but adds no value here.

‘Cave Dweller’ has a boisterous bluesy sound to start and I think the chorus is probably one of the best on the album. Its catchy, rocky and memorable, perhaps its self proclamation of “we’ve finally arrived” is the pair realising they may have found a sound they’ve been searching for.

The record ends with the slower paced ‘Russian Handkerchief’, which begins with a grungy guitar riff. There’s space in this track, space which speaks sometimes more than noise. Vocally there is a grainy verse, and a chorus which I cant help but compare to Weezer, not a terrible thing. Being near enough the longest track on the album, its pace trudges towards a close.

Poppy choruses spatter this record, which i think is a great addition to the visceral sound Barren Womb have offered us before. Sometimes the lyrics are farcical, sometimes good, often genius. There is some filler here, but a lot of thumping catchy tunes offered as well.

Rating: 7/10
Recommended Track: Crook Look

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