The Barley Mob – Debut Album – Review
The Barley Mob are an Irish six piece group and their self-titled debut album is full of surprises.
Opening track ‘Everybody’s Music’ is a jovial, mellow, bouncy tune. The lyrics really shine through and there are some lovely harmonies amongst the strong, bouncy strings and percussion. The lead singer’s voice adds a really distinctive tone to the music and his Irish accent gives it a very unique sound that makes it stand out from others in the reggae genre.
The album alternates pleasantly between livelier, more upbeat tracks like ‘She’s Falling’ and ‘Medicine Man’ which feature some jazzy brass elements in ‘She’s Falling’ and a great rough percussion section in ‘Medicine Man’. Another facet of their sound is a slightly countryish vibe in ‘Road Tune’.
The 7th and 8th tracks are slow burners with ‘Bubble Song’ segueing into a reggae-ish sound with upbeat choruses while ‘Peace of Mind’ maintains a slightly melancholic air.
One of the highlights of the album is ‘Stand up, Rise up, Big up’ which has an exceptionally cheery sound that is like summer for your ears.
The whole album is very fluid and lively, blending multiple genres and styles to create a really unique sound that contains elements of reggae, rockish undertones, pop-ier numbers, bluegrass influences and even a hint of almost Spanish sounding guitar. The music is full of soul and character and the distinctive lead vocals give it an edge that separates it from anything else on the contemporary Irish music scene. The duality of the lead singer’s voice makes it sound like two different people are singing the vocal line in some tracks and the positive, life-affirming lyrics make this more like music with message: a message that definitely takes hold of you when you listen. Positivity radiates from the album and makes it easy to listen to and the stylistics give it plenty of intrigue. A great debut for a band that have created a new sound!
Review by Kat Clinch