With The Kings of Leon, The Black Rebel Motorcycle Club and even The White Stripes all poised to release new albums, 2007 is set to be a fantastic year for blues/indie rock. But there is one album which, although it will probably fly under many people’s radars, thoroughly deserves to be highlighted before it is overshadowed by these far more widely recognised bands.
Stand Your Ground is the second album from English trio Little Barrie. Having had a few line-up changes since their quietly acclaimed debut, We Are Little Barrie, they have succeeded in producing a brilliant second album.
Produced in part by Dan the Automator, far more well known for his hip hop production credentials, this album achieves a sense of immediacy and simplicity that lets music really stand on its own two feet. What reels you in, and never really lets you go, is the contagious rhythm section and rockabilly shuffle.
The deliriously catchy ‘Pin That Badge’ ties in funk /soul elements of Little Barrie with the underlying blues basis of their music. This combination creates a distinctively retro-rock sound harking back to the sixties and seventies while also being right up there with albums from such contemporaries as The Black Keys and The Greenhornes.
Little Barrie aren’t moving mountains, but they aren’t trying to either. Seemingly very happy making music in an already well-established genre that is very clearly derivative, what’s clever about the way they do it is that its simplicity and quality of musicianship gives it a fresh authenticity.
‘Yeah We Know’ conjures up a very Lennon and McCartney sixties-pop sound, but in many ways could be even more closely compared to the childlike vocals of Connan Hosford of Connan and the Mockasins. With the bass and drums creating a rhythmically infectious sound, simple and endearing vocals and the odd harmonica and maraca thrown in for good measure, Stand Your Ground is modern blues pop at its best. Don’t let it get lost in the crowd this year.