ALBUM REVIEW: Barren Womb – ‘Lizard Lounge’

Words by India Raine

If the name Barren Womb doesn’t give you a disturbing feeling, their raw, fresh and manic music sure will! 

This description of their music is what came to mind within the opening seconds of the first track Cemetary Slopestyle from their upcoming album ‘Lizard Lounge’. It’s a brilliant album from start to finish and brings you a fresh change from the overly produced, digital, machine-made rock music of today. 

Barren Womb is a two-piece from the colder climes of Finland and Norway, who have been tirelessly building their craft and world-wide fanbase since 2011. If you enjoy bands like DZ Deathrays, IDLES, and UK rock duo Slaves (not to be confused with the five-piece American band by the same name), you will be in awe of the crazed, unpolished work produced by Barren Womb.

‘Lizard Lounge’, due on May 22nd through Loyal Blood Records, is a 10 track, unapologetic punk album influenced by heavy rock, grunge, and hardcore. For a two-piece, the sonic landscape of the album is incredible. The songs are tight, the order of the tracks feel perfectly placed and the album is an exciting and electrifying 33 minutes of aural assault. 

Their opening track is only a minute and a half long with nothing being held back – sneeze and you might just miss it – the Ramones and Bad Brains would be proud. Shut your eyes and you can almost imagine the crowd at their shows erupting into a sweaty-headbanging-mosh-pitting frenzy as the first chords of this anthemic song ring out.

Although they are releasing the album in the midst of a pandemic, it isn’t stopping this hardworking band from producing a live-streamed performance as an alternative to what would be an album launch pre-COVID-19. Barren Womb will be holding an online Facebook event a day after ‘Lizard Lounge’ is released, playing some of their old tunes as well as their latest tracks.  

Their next two songs Karma As A Tour Manager and Hairy Palms have less of a manic feel to them, with more of a laid back punk groove but still providing the heavy, fuzz distortion – it’s as if they’re giving you a chance to catch your breath and get ready for what’s next. Hairy Palms has a dance vibe to it, yet as Barren Womb always do, they catch you off guard but this time with a 30-second breakdown like section. The time signature changes, the melody is suddenly less danceable and you’re entranced by its motion. Finishing the section off is a resonating scream that wakes you out of the trance and back into the groove of the song. It’s a rollercoaster of a track and will be a great part of their live sets. 

The fourth song off ‘Lizard Lounge’ is excellent – Crop Circle Jerk. This track begins in an unexpected manner; slower, gloomier and sounding very Primus inspired. The chorus hits you with the force of a speeding truck and gives a sludge-y, stoner rock and doom metal vibe as they scream the lines “watch out”. The ending of the song is so tightly finished as if they’ve played their instruments for so long with such confidence, they’re performing effortlessly. Barren Womb so far has not disappointed – the song ends and I want the next song to begin instantly!

The grunge-inspired track Smokes, Let’s Go is very reminiscent of early Nirvana, combined with a modern take on grunge and rock in the chorus. The raw, almost purposely under-produced sound gives this track a great energetic live feel. When the sloppy sounding drums and its hard, splashy, cymbals are combined with the dirtiness of the guitar and vocals it creates a warmth and realness to the song that so many songs of the 21st-century lack (due to that warmth being commonly found on analog recordings, vinyl and cassettes). Smokes, Let’s Go sounds straight out of the 1990’s grunge era. 

Further into the album is Nerve Salad. The driving force and thumping beats are irresistible to the ears. The live energy captured in the studio is sonically transmitted into every cell of your body, leaving it impossible to sit still upon listening.

Find yourself nodding your head along to the song? You’re not alone. Here’s hoping this song is a staple part of their live sets in the future. 

Following this song is a real stand out earworm of a track called Be Kind, Have Fun And Try Not To Die. No wonder this is their current single off what is an exceptional album. It is an excellent song in every aspect – it has a pop-like chorus that you can sing along to, catchy riffs and a melodic instrumental bridge that seizes you until the end of the song – not to mention a great title. This song is different from anything else on ‘Lizard Lounge’, but somehow seems to fit in. 

The last track You Do The Meth is a manic tune that finishes the album off on a high. Halfway through the song is an overdubbed audio of a woman talking about her drug-fueled schedule. The harsh, unapologetic song takes you on an unexpected journey, so much so, that the ending arrives abruptly and leaves you wanting more. Before you know it, you have turned to the beginning of the album again, looking for another hit of Barren Womb

Be sure to listen to ‘Lizard Lounge’ on May 22nd through Loyal Blood Records, and follow Barren Womb on Instagram, Facebook and Twitter

Pre order ‘Lizard Lounge’ on vinyl HERE

Listen to their latest single Be Kind, Have Fun And Try Not To Die here.

With thanks to Viral Propaganda PR

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