Barringtone "Snake in the Grass"

Barringtone "Snake in the Grass"
A funny thing happened upon first hearing Barringtone, a band I knew nothing about until reading a description that suggested they were descendents of Todd Rundgren’s more weirder production. A few listens to their MySpace page reminded me of a relatively little known, fallen UK band named Clor, who packed it in early despite releasing a fine self-titled debut.

My foreshadowing is terrible, so yes, it turns out that Barringtone’s front-man Barry Dobbin was actually the voice and creative force in Clor. A pleasant surprise, indeed, but mostly because the Rundgren comparisons are spot on. Maintaining Clor’s hyperactive agit pop tick, Dobbin branches out with intricate tangents and employing techniques that made pop music in the ’70s so far-reaching and let’s face it, bizarre.

Barringtone’s influences explain everything: Eno, Rundgren, YMO, S’Express, Zappa, Tygers of Pantang (?) and Justin Timberlake… and they’re every bit as remarkable and odd as that combo would have you believe. Produced by Jas Shaw, the other half of Simian Mobile Disco, debut single "Snake in the Grass” reveals its ambitions from the opening seconds, climbing scales on the fret board and synth before exploding into some thrash when the "lightning strikes.” This then opens the clouds to the pop quirks, falling in and out of the scaling and tangents, demonstrating Dobbin’s enchanting guitar punches. If you thought Devo were nutters, and loved them for it, well, meet Lord Barringtone and his merry men.

Barringtone "Snake in the Grass”