The Rock Pit - Hard rock, Metal and Blues Interviews, news & reviews from Australia and around the world

The Rock Pit - Hard rock, Metal and Blues Interviews, news & reviews from Australia and around the world

BARONESS

YELLOW AND GREEN

2012

 

 

 

 

 

CD1:
01 – Yellow Theme
02 – Take My Bones Away
03 – March to the Sea
04 – Little Things
05 – Twinkler
06 – Cocainium
07 – Back Where I Belong
08 – Sea Lungs
09 – Eula

CD2:
01 – Green Theme
02 – Board Up the House
04 – Foolsong
05 – Collapse
06 – Psalms Alive
07 – Stretchmarker
08 – The Line Between
09 – If I Forget Thee, Lowcountry

 

 

Baroness, but not as we know it…

 

 

After Red and Blue comes Yellow (and Green).

 

 

OK so we probably guessed that Baroness’ next album would complete the set of primary colours and in fact John did (to be fair) when I interviewed him earlier in the year hint there might be enough material for a double so we might have got there. But Green? Are we saying that Blue and Yellow make Green? Or is there some sort of environmental thing going on here?

 

 

Let’s investigate…

 

 

Well the first thing to say is that this is probably not going to please anyone who was hoping for another helping of Red or a facsimile of Blue.  Sonically this is not the Baroness we’ve heard before and whilst the Baizley/Adams axis is intact this is altogether a more emotional undertaking.

 

 

Funnily enough as my copy took some time to arrive I did glance through a few early reviews, something I never really do, but I imagined there might be some interesting insights into what the new material sounded like. Lets just say there are some hilarious ones out there that appear to be written by journos with a love of long words and who at the end of the exercise have completely and utterly failed to render the slightest recognizable intonation about what the album sounds like at all (buggers must be paid by the word)…

 

 

To cut to the chase I’ll just paste my notes:

 

 

This is less heavy, but more weighty
Less mainstream, more ‘progressive’
Rawer, but cleaner guitar
More reliant on voice and lyric
More emotional
More bass
More intricate guitar
Almost pop at times (metal AWOL)
Open to interpretation…
Yellow: slicker rock/pop
Green: roots and daubs of prog

 

 

Does that make things clearer? No? Well that’s the point I guess this is a far more introverted record that previous Baroness and it’s a helluva lot less heavy. In fact at times there is almost a Southern Rock meets Elvis Costello vibe going on (if you can imagine that).

 

 

Looking at Yellow first we hook into a swirl of sound with ‘Yellow Theme’ before being offered touches or corporate rock in 'Take My Bones Away. Then there is of course the stuttering summer-lanced single 'March to the Sea' that sounds far more pop than rock, let alone metal. There’s more pop on ‘Little Things' but we’re saved by the classic rock and starburst guitar of 'Cocainium' which is the definite highlight of the first CD.

 

 

Green is even a step further than previous notions of Baroness.  It’s got some blues, some folk, a little garage and plenty of psychedelic-tinged early prog. It feels like someone trying to delve into the past but failing to completely shed their modern perceptions and embrace it entirely. There’s blues in 'Foolsong’ acoustic rock in 'Stretchmarker' and a distinctly bluegrass feel to 'Board up the House'. Elsewhere we get echoes of the Baroness of old, but only echoes.

 

 

This isn’t an easy listen and whilst there are more moments of what might be considered mainstream rock on this than on previous releases that is easily outweighed by the disparate nature of the remainder.

 

 

Hard to ignore, easy to love or hate. All are welcome to sit with me on my fence.

 

 

 

Mark Diggins