We featured Bárbara Black as a Band of the Day earlier this year, but didn’t get around to having a proper listen to the album at the time. So we’re making up for it now!
Bárbara cited quite a few acts as influences and the one that really sticks out for me is In This Moment, in particular frontwoman Maria Brink. We have a similar imposing presence fronting this act, taking control of each song but letting her bandmates absolutely flesh everything out. Black’s vocals are front and centre, with a similar varied style to Brink’s, and she does it well which is no mean feat.
There’s a video for “Tiger Tamer” below and it’s probably a good place to start as a sample. It’s got a nice shouty chorus, great catchy beat and those vocals I mentioned. There’s also a nice little guitar solo in there, making it a nice summation of the band’s style. You can even pick out the quite bit after the solo where you just know they’ll be miming for the audience to clap when they play it live!
The other band members do contribute some backing vocals as well as their instrumental input, and this works well while not being overdone. “No Bullets” has a notable sampling of male voices, for example. It does add a little something, and make the whole package seem more like a band rather than a singer with a bunch of session musicians.
“Desert’s Last Drop” is one of the top tracks for my money, largely due to the cracking guitar solo and buildup after it, though “Kissed By Flames” is an interesting mix of very heavy and very country(!) tones which is interesting. In fact, it’s this ability to fling different sounds around that keeps the album lively.
“Heroes Above the Stars” is all light and carefree, “Don’t Play With Fire” starts gentle and gets a little filthy, “You Belong To Me” is a straightforward rocker… and so forth. Despite having a definite sound of their own, Bárbara Black stretch their legs in several directions to pull in influences from various locations. If you like “rock music” as a general concept, then you’ll almost certainly like the majority of the songs on Love, Death & Flies.
Love, Death & Flies is out now