Wednesday, 24 July 2013

Baroness - Live At Maida Vale - BBC 12"


I've been a massive admirer of Relapse Records for ages, so I was pretty excited when I got sent some digital promos a little while ago. Baroness have been slowly rising out of obscurity in recent times thanks to some cracking sludge filled metal records and now are a formidable name in the genre. Their latest release is this four-track, limited edition 12" with screen printed artwork. Recorded earlier this year specially for the BBC Radio 1 Rock Show, it highlights the musicianship and song writing that they've been working so hard on over the years. Yellow & Green was such a great record and while some may see this as a stop gap, it's bound to posses the magic of that opus.

Tracklist:-

1. Take My Bones Away
2. March To The Sea
3. Cocainium
4. The Line Between

I've always found that Baroness have had a strong aura about them. One that's spelled them out as a shining beacon and one of almost warming familiarity, in that you know your safe with them. This record starts with Take My Bones Away from Yellow & Green. For me, that album spelled a shift for the band. One, which altered their sound and took it to the next level. You get a sense of that with this live recording. There are still the overarching elements of sludge, rock and progression but it's delivered with verve and a real personality. The solo during the opener in particular, is just pure US rock n roll lusciousness.

Baroness has been very clever and has not gone in the super-proggy direction, where they could have become really beard stroking and have instead elected to write catchy but original rock songs. March To The Sea is a great example of this point. The song is catchy as hell, especially during the chorus and the musicianship won't even scare off the more casual listeners that choose to spin it. The guitar intro to Cocainium sounds even more emotive on this recording and really wraps itself around you. It's slightly more abrasive than the previous two tracks, but it's got tonnes off groove and harks back to their earlier albums, as does The Line Between. It's not got the sludginess but the dissonance in the guitars more than makes up for that. Some listeners may think of Foo Fighters when listening to this (the vocals especially), but Baroness is very much their own beast, as I'm sure you'll know by now!

It's great go see bands like Baroness getting recognition from mainstream radio in the UK, but it's even better that it's been charted on vinyl for those that have followed the band for years. This record will probably sell out fast but it still serves as a great way for new fans to discover Baroness.

For those of you who missed the live session on Radio 1 on July 22nd (like me), Relapse have uploaded the tracks from the 12" onto their bandcamp page. Have a listen below:-



You can buy it as a digital download from the above link or follow the second link to Relapse's webstore to buy the vinyl, t-shirts or both!

Baroness Facebook - https://www.facebook.com/YourBaroness
Relapse Records Facebook - https://www.facebook.com/RelapseRecords

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