The Midnight Barbers – Damascus

Screen shot 2015-08-17 at 07.52.01When you’re able to channel a voice that’s anywhere in the realm of Tom Waits, Captain Beefheart et al. you need to be making the very most of it. That’s exactly what Ben Rowntree of The Midnight Barbers does as the sparsity of raw nature of the accompanying instrumentation allows his killer voice to shine through, unhindered by anything else.

The anger and power that shines through in Rowntree’s voice suggests that he may not be able to talk by the time he’s fifty, no young person should sound this gravelly, but this is exactly the sort of off-beat take on music that we should be actively encouraging as the creativity of Rowntree and drummer Jack Pepper is just different enough to stand out in any crowd. The song doesn’t quite go heavy enough to deter the indie side of the audience yet you’re unlikely to hear this on Radio 1 any time soon. The chugging guitars compliment Rowntree’s voice expertly and Pepper’s restraint behind the kit show that he’s happy to be patient in the name of piecing together a strong song.

Don’t be afraid to get a little down and dirty, this is tailor-made for a crowded room of disillusioned youths. It’s an absolute cracker.

Ciaran Steward

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