Barry, from London (which sounds like a contestant on Blind Date but is actually, in their words, a “queer guitar pop band”) have just released their self-titled debut mini album. It comes via the ever-reliable Permanent Slump and it’s a lot of fun. All four members sing, the lyrics are bold and quite frequently hilarious.
It’s not often that a band can make you laugh out loud but Barry are masters of it.
It’s not just in the lyrics but, as with all good comedy, the timing of the delivery.Take first single ‘Posh Club’ for example where the band display their bemusement as to how everyone around them became “so fucking posh. Has it always been this way and I just never noticed?… That everyone is really fucking posh”. Don’t listen to ’Man Pose’ while drinking tea or you may just spit it out all over your (fucking) laptop, particularly when you hear the line “My mask keeps slipping, my mask keeps slipping and it’s hitting your dick”. It’s also a great Velvet Underground-esque rock n roll song.
Musically, there are hints of early Pavement, Jeffrey Lewis and Terry.
The structures are simple, there are only three or four chords in each song for the most part and this all works hugely in Barry’s favour. Bart McDonagh’s guitar playing doesn’t often go further than simple chord strumming but it really is all that is needed as Helen Skinner’s bass lines and Mark Amura’s keyboards are super melodic and earwormy, while Kathy Wright’s drumming is tight precise and suitably un-flashy.
‘Our First Party’ has a Folk Jam-esque guitar chug, with a super hip shaking drumbeat and shares a similar vocal melody to Jeffrey Lewis’s ‘Another Girl’.’ Stretch Your Legs’ is less in your face, displaying a softer side, Amura’s keyboards give it a great paisley pop atmosphere, which is also the case in “Baby Helped Mummy Write A Song”.
‘Shy Or Cunts’ is lyrically simple but, again, hilarious. They put people in three categories: “Shy or cunts, or just fucking rude”. ‘The World Is Not Your Toilet Sir’ is, of course, about people relieving themselves in public and is a sweet sounding yet, obviously, lyrically gross song!
‘Liz Naylor’, another single, is great fun.
It’s super catchy and bouncy in a similar vein to Marc Riley favourites Terry. The song also plays with bursts of noise which provide a simple and brilliant counterpoint to the chirpy verses.
This whole mini album is melodically infectious, fun and addictive. If you like your pop jangled and are into the current Melbourne indie scene this will be right up your street.
You may enjoy this if you like: Terry, Parsnip, Pavement, Jeffrey Lewis, Swim Team