Something for Everyone
Despite being around since 1999, Shadow is only Little Barrie’s fourth studio album. Originally from Nottingham and now based in London, the trio of Barrie Cadogan (vocals, guitar), Lewis Wharton (bass) and the band’s newest edition, Virgil Howe (drums), managed to take time away from their day-to-day lives and other musical projects to record this album and set up some tour dates.
While Shadow contains elements from the previously released King of the Waves minimalist-approach surf-rock album, this album encompasses more. It’s fuller (by Little Barrie standards), smarter and contains more elements of grunge and garage rock, and it even takes some turns into psych-rock in songs like “Fuzz Bomb.”
“Stop or Die” is unique compared to the other tracks. While most songs turn up the guitar fuzz and let the vocals fade into the instrumentals, “Stop or Die” features Cadogan’s clear voice and light drums; the slow bass controls this song.
“Pauline” is a highlight of the album. The ’90s-rock guitar will get your head banging amid the harsh lyrics: “Pauline! You’re the unforgotten dream /… You left me demonized”
The aforementioned song is only one of a couple that is distinct and stands out when listening through Shadow for the first time. Since the songs are so loose and lack catchy choruses, sometimes it’s hard to tell when one song starts and another begins. Most songs are slow and chug along at a stoner-like pace. Other songs, like closer “Shadow,” take pages out of blues and classic rock. Fusing these genres into Little Barrie’s already-original sound makes both this album and the band more enjoyable.
If there were any Little Barrie album that could gain them more popularity, it’d be Shadow. This might not necessarily have them walking on any red carpets, but it’s at least soundtrack-worthy.