I love surf music. I don’t know much outside the big names like The Ventures or The Shadows, but it’s a scene I dig. So when I saw a song called “Surf Hell” by Little Barrie I had to ch-check it out. Plunging deep into the fiery depths of the internet I discovered that Little Barrie is an English Power trio that’s been laying down tasty jams for about 12 years. King of the Waves is their third album (released last February) and despite some of the surf inspired names isn’t really surf music, bummer. So I have no I idea why I started this review with my thoughts on surf music.
King of the Waves feels like an homage to some of the grittiest garage bands of the 60s. The riffs here are predominately bluesy, accompanied by typical bad boy vocals, and backed by an equally bluesy shuffle. Instantly I’m reminded of The Greenhornes, another modern bluesy-sounding group that is also coincidentally a three piece. That being said I’m sure I could think of a many bands that sound exactly like Little Barrie. Still they do what they do well enough to keep my interest.
Everyone in the band seems accomplished enough at their instrument and just by looking at pictures of the band I can tell they love classic rock. It’s always a treat to find a modern album that returns back to classic rock roots, but at the same time it feels a little lazy. Instead of using a defined style to build upon and create a new sound, Little Barrie just goes for the relatively safe sound. I appreciate their enthusiasm for the old, but why should I listen to this when I can just go back and listen to the old instead of this? So I appreciate the effort but in the end, Little Barrie comes up a tad short.
Favorite Tracks: “Dream to Live”, “How Come”, “Surf Hell”