Barren Womb “Old Money / New Lows” Album Review

Barren Womb – “Old Money / New Lows” (Spartan Records)
By: Tom Hanno

In the cold North there lies a Finnish/Norwegian duo who call themselves Barren Womb. Singer/drummer Timo Silvola and singer/guitarist Tony Gonzalez created the project back in 2011 and have created music that “makes efficient use of crude dynamics and the power of the riff to hammer their point across” (from their Facebook page). Barren Womb tours almost endlessly, without taking many breaks to rest; pushing the project into the international underground by smashing heads with their amped up, powerful songwriting skills. The duo have toured the US and Europe repeatedly, where they’ve played with, among others, Entombed A.D, Voivod, Conan, NoMeansNo and Årabrot, and have played at festivals like SXSW, Tallinn Music Week, Øya and Pstereo. They have recently released a record entitled Old Money/New Lows, and it is everything that it was reported to be; loud, chaotic yet controlled, and full of punk rock attitude.

The music on this release is quite deceiving, because it sounds like a full band is there to hold everything together; realistically, they probably either played the other instruments themselves, or hired studio musicians. Either way the result is an album full of raw rock swagger, punk angst, and the beauty of controlled chaos. Of the eight songs on this release, there is a feeling of urgency on most them; even when the music is a bit more laid back there is still a huge wall of sound that permeates your ears like a burrowing tick that is speeding towards your brain like a destructive cancer. The only difference is that this is a cancer that you will welcome into your body, and will happily feed with regular listening’s of this record.

The guitar work on this album is full of twists and turns, moments of bludgeoning noise, and is all laid upon the groundwork of killer songwriting and thunderous drumming. Some of the riffs have an unmistakable groove, peppered with a bluesy punk; as seen on the track called “Cave Dweller”. Tony Gonzalez weaves a web of musical turmoil with his guitar parts, and when couple with the bombastic drumming, deftly supplied by Timo Silvola, it creates a beautiful masterpiece of sound.

Now, some of you are bound to make comparisons with other duo’s, such as The White Stripes and The Dukes, but don’t fool yourself into thinking Barren Womb is a carbon copy of these groups; they stand apart from their peers in a most wonderful way.

So, I suggest that you go and give Old Money/New Lows a serious listen. It is a fantastic example of what two dedicated musicians can do together and deserves to be heard by as many people as possible. It is available now here, and you can check out their Facebook page as well. Now, get out there and crank up these tunes, as loud as you can stand, and think “Holy Shit, Tom was right again”; because I am. Enjoy!!!!!!

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