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coverpic flag Norway - Full Moon 237 - 12/25/15

Barren Womb
Nique Everything
Spartan Records

'...the grave, the barren womb, the thirsty desert, the blazing fire. Sheol, the barren womb, the land never satisfied with water, and the fire that never says, "Enough!"...' (proverbs, 30:16, Book of Genesis)

Barren Womb is a noise-rock duo from Trondheim, Norway who started their run some four years ago. The "gruesome-twosome" are drummer Timo Silvola and vocalist/guitarist Tony Gonzahl (both ex-Like Rats From A Sinking Ship). As Barren Womb they have put out a couple of split-singles, an EP (10") On the Origin of Fæces (Perfect Hoax, 2012), plus their debut album The Sun's Not Yellow, It's Chicken (Spartan Records, 2014) which holds the ace song title "Segway to Heaven". Now, here is their second album proper: Nique Everything. To quote the band: 'We strongly believe in d.i.y. ethics and the honesty of underground music, putting freedom of expression at the helm of our cause. Although we operate within the framework of Noise Rock, we do not limit ourselves to the confines of the genre. Instead, we make music that moves us and perhaps is a bit left of center. Purism has never tickled our fancy anyway.' It seems like the band is up for a lot, as they grab and surf various genres. The DIY ethics/aesthetics for sure are present as the band grasp and serve a wild dish from hard-core, punky, metal growls and howls, to dirty, swampy, bluesy rawk'n'country. Put Black Flag, the Butthole Surfers and the Meat Puppets in your kitchen blender and see what happens... well, throw in the Birthday Party plus some rough and hairy metal bands while you're at it. They have probably sold their dark, devilish souls to the devil himself long since...

Barren Womb is about energy and wildness, but humour also seems to be among the main ingredients. Like Decibel Magazine (US) has said: 'It's rare that a band sounds this pummeling and gleeful at the same time'. All over and in-between screamadelic vocals and rocking rhythms you'll find different, odd tones and arrangements. Just when you thought they are a pure metal act, they take a U-turn into some very different genre. A magazine said that their debut album was sounding '...like The Hives covering Refused' (BringthenoiseUK). Right, get it? "Make sure you get yr whole head in front of the shotgun" opens like a slow, bluesy thing, but the long tracks wades through a sludgy, metal parts, to end up like a twisted blues again. This could have been a song for the True Detective soundtrack. The swamp, metal-poppy "Heap Blame/Put to Shame" is a cool track, as it swirls and swerves through more than one genre. Of their tougher, hard-rocking and kicking tracks you'll find "Town's Back the Way you Came" and "Man Fucks Burning Goat", while a song like "Devil Run the Game" brings them some way, somewhat nearer Tom Waits. Which is quite cool. Then they dive into some dirt-punk with "You Can't Fire Me, Because I Quit". I also enjoy their only song sung in Norwegian, the Northern Raga-bluesy "Svart hav" ('Black sea', or: Dead sea), 'Deliverance style'. Their chaotic criss-crossing between genres somehow makes sense. In the end. Nique Everything was recorded live and mixed at Håkon Gebhardt's (ex-Motorpsycho, HomeGroan/HGH, Meg og kammeraten min) Das Boot Studio, and Gebhardt has (of course) added some of his cool banjo playing during the redcording. Along with Regn's Mareritt, Kollwitz' Dissonance, and Årabrot's You Bunch of Idiots EP, Nique Everything stands out as one of the coolest of the tough-rock/alternative hard-rock albums from Norway this year. Another cool thing with Barren Womb is that they're a two-some, with guitar and drums only (and vocals, of course). Yes, plus some devilish banjo.

'...the grave, the barren womb, land, which is never satisfied with water, and fire, which never says, 'Enough!'

Copyright © 2015 Håvard 'Barry Wom' Oppøyen e-mail address

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