The Barley Mob is a name you will have heard if you are in any way tuned into the Irish music scene. The reggae-folk fusion band have been ever present at the majority of music festivals around the country for the past number of years; not to mention their own suitably packed shows in Ireland’s favourite cosy music venues. This is a band that have simply made a name for themselves by playing unique and energetic shows with word of mouth being the main force behind their success.
Finally, in recent months, The Barley Mob, have released their self-titled début album. This is likely to draw an even bigger crowd to their already jammed gigs, and will possibly take them to larger venues.
From the outset, we are shown why there is such fuss about this band. ‘The barley mob’ is a positive ditty with festering beats and fiendishly catchy tunes; it is clear to see why so many people are flocking to see them. Their unique sound is immediately apparent, setting up what is no doubt one of the best Irish albums of the year.
Opening with Everybody’s Music, the album immediately displays the delightful infusion of folkish sounds with reggae beats. The banjo riff ties in nicely with skippy tempo. We’re off to a good start.
Throughout the album positivity in the face of adversity rings through; a kind of “in the gutter… looking at the stars” mentality. While the music is overtly cheerful sounding it is born from an appreciation of the little things from the perspective of someone who knows what it is like to have been trampled on once or twice. We hear this in tracks like Nothing in the World which defiantly chants that nothing is “gonna keep me down” which maintains the album’s overall message of not letting life batter your mentality.
The band draw on a number of influences throughout the album and yet they are not averse to trying out their own thing. Never before has Ireland produced such a unique band with their splicing of two total opposite genres.That being said within We go the distance elements of Bob Marley, an obvious influence. This an almost archetypal reggae song with a slow beat and jumpy, repetitive tune.
All in all this album is a positive one; it is uplifting with its pragmatic lyrics, infectious rhythms and melodious tunes. The album points anyone who might be suffering in the midst of disaster in a more positive direction and there is nothing wrong with that. The message aside, this album is strong in terms of its musical quality, poetic lyricism and all around talent. It is a must listen for any serious music lovers out there.