Thursday, May 23, 2013

At The Desk Of Glory Kid, Ltd World Headquarters: Barbarian (TX) Demos

So as I stated before in the last segment, as a functioning record label you tend to get press kits from bands/artists seeking support to release their upcoming material. Unfortunately more times than not you receive demos that sub par at the very least, and at times, deemed unlistenable. But for the ones that are awesome or do show promise, I feel if they have put forth the effort into assembling a physical press kit, then I owe them some sort of reply or response in exchange.

Here we got a band called Barbarian, They are four piece hardcore band from El Paso, TX that play pretty hardened style metal-hardcore, which has always been a common mainstay within the Texas hardcore scene. Both demos display a lot of the same elements that you would expect given the region and the EP's aesthetics, heavy riffing laden with metallic tinges that roll into bouncing breaks that make me imagine how ignorant the dance floor gets when those drop. Don't get me wrong, I grew up in the Inland Empire scene in the early 00's and have a soft spot for music that induces violent crowd reactions. I would expect none less here.

Though both demos definitely show growing pains as all demos do, there is something here behind the shortcomings. The recording quality on both EP's are pretty rough, muffled and unbalanced. Some aspects of the recordings tend to dominate over others causing some of the songs to lose their effect or connection with the listener. Drum recording is one thing I tend to pay close attention to. On the first demo EP entitled World Gone Wrong, the drum recording could be improved significantly. The snare retains a intolerable "can" sound along with the bass kick level being too high, leaving the rest of the toms and cymbals to fall into the background somewhere. Though the guitars levels could be brought up some. The distortion and crunchiness that they give off works well with the low end the bass provides. Lyrically and vocally the music is well supported. Recording quality on the more recent demo Ashes To Ashes does improve but not by much. The drums although better, is still a ways away from being decent.

The lyrics are nothing ground breaking but show a level of sincerity I tend to gravitate to when digesting music. Vocally I was pretty impressed in the sense that it's not your typical "tough guy" guttural barking delivery but more of a raspy "I sound like my age and a human" style, which was refreshing.

I would have to honestly say this isn't a band I would be interested in working with, but they do show promise. Given time and dedication to grow and perfect their sound I would think they could do more with it and become a band that really grab people's attention. As for now I would say they are one of those bands that are "okay" on record but probably pretty entertaining live. Check out the links below and make your own formal opinion. They have both demos available for stream on their respective bandcamp page.

Barbarian via Bandcamp
Barbarian via Facebook