Tuesday, April 30, 2013
Barmy vocals with English accents
Baronic Wall - The Mind of Roses
Gift Tapes #42
Baronic Wall's The Mind of Roses is so fucking vintage I checked the calendar on my phone. Am I really still here? In the present? Or is it 1979? Baronic Wall's take on hard-edged, hypnotic synthpop would feel right snug at home on Hyped2Death's Messthetics series, which spotlights the U.K.'s D.I.Y. era of the late '70s/early '80s. An era when authenticity trumped skill, when the creative process was emphasized as much as the creative output itself, when idle spectators became willing participants.
Baronic Wall has barmy vocals with English accents (they remind me of Dan Treacy; anything that reminds me of Dan Treacy makes me warm inside). The songs have woozy, warped synthesizers and cheap-sounding percussion, and themes of tribulation and alienation. From "Those Good Men": "The place where things went wrong for them / The place where they got a sign that the world didn't want them."
The vocalist often takes a poetic/spoken-word approach; he oscillates between sounding irritated and frightened. During the song "The Former Age" it occurred to me that the synths were like an impenetrable wall and his voice was coming from the other side of this wall, and that no matter how agitated or unnerved or just downright weird he came off, he always sounded like he was comfortable in the particular space he was occupying. That he wanted to be there and nowhere else. I was simultaneously intrigued and flustered by this; I haven't felt like that in some time.