Barringtone - Bonanza Plan (Onomatopoeia)

Barringtone – Bonanza Plan (Onomatopoeia)

Barringtone, featuring ex-Clor guitarist and vocalist Barry Dobbin have finally delivered a debut album from a project that has been cooking since 2007.  Clor are a very special band to me, I fell in love with their quirky Gary Numan meets LCD Soundsystem sound at the tender age of 17.  I was devastated that they disbanded after only one album, but any distant memory of disappointment has been dispersed by Bonanza Plan.

‘Foxes and Brimstone’ is a characteristically buoyant and scatty, mini epic opener from the group.  Time signature changes and warbling keys are embraced with total abandon.  This is followed by the gloriously bright and bold, pumping and angular ‘Gold Metal Vision’.  The band goes to ridiculous lengths to vary the dynamics and textures on this track, consistently managing to surprise the listener with their switch ups.

‘Dreamboyz’ delivers something looser and funkier.  It is a quieter number, but no less sprawling and epic.  The charming, humorous vibe is highlighted by the lyrics “dreamboyz, dreamboyz ride unicorns”.  ‘Into the Woods’ keeps up this curious stake.  Infectious, playful synths bubble away before crashing into inappropriately crunchy, relentless guitar chords.  I love that you’re never quite sure where this one is going, with it eventually fading out into serene guitar ambience.

Lead single ‘The New New’ is the most Barringtone song Barringtone have ever produced.  The driving guitar and pounding drum combination makes it sound like the band are running and performing at the same time.  The frenetic and goofy ‘Emily Smallhands’ is clearly the best track on the LP, I’m shocked it didn’t get made a single.  Dobbin gets super creepy and close to the mic with his falsetto on this one “you would know me for a stranger”.

‘Feverhead’ is one of a couple of tracks on this album that date back to 2015, it feels like it has finally found a safe and loving home here.  It’s an inspiring, itchy head bopper which puts most of the indie rock you’ve ever heard to shame.  While ‘Technollipop’ is not the most accomplished song here it’ll win you over with its sheer force of nature and insistence.  Closing the album out we have ‘Pet Gazelles’ which had me falling over laughing with the opening and closing group vocal lines.  Only four words are sung in the entire song – I won’t spoil the surprise for you.  It quickly evolves into something oddly fast, techy and scratchy, stretching the band’s sound and showing off their obvious potential.

I am pleasantly surprised that after a 15 year wait Barringtone have been able to better Clor’s debut album thanks to a stronger second half.  Comparisons aside, this is an essential listen for anyone into indie or dance-punk.  They’ve pulled out all the stops.

Bonanza Plan is out on Onomatopoeia on 21 August.

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