Barbarosa:  A Self Titled  EP Tapping Into Moods Everywhere

>> “Basically Led Zeppelin’s song “Black Dog” 3 times in a row…” makes for a great satirical description that can be found on Barbarosa’s band camp page, but cannot be farther from the truth. The band’s new three-song release is full of feeling, post-rock instrumentals, and femme fatal vocals. And while all three songs contribute to a common theme, each has their own nuances in terms of the moods they tap into.

The Good:

Given the complex nature of the instrumental arrangement, there exists this comforting cushion under the vocals. The guitar parts blend together perfectly without being indistinguishable in the mix. A soft and subtle synth part pops up in the mix in specific parts of each song, acting as a glue holding the band’s mid-section in place when it’s most crucial to do so.

The production quality and arrangement on the record are simply great. The mastering obviously went well, as the attention to detail was as granular as possible. Each time I re-listen to each song, I find decorative backup vocals, synth parts or guitar ditties that went previously unheard.

Vocals that both swoon and strike an angsty tone are the band’s forte. Lead vocalist, Hannah Gouldrick is completely owning the emotive aspect of singing, and Kyle Waldron’s backup parts are a sort of secret weapon that plays nicely with the mid-section of the instrumentals backing Gouldrick up.

The Bad:

Predictability was slightly prevalent between the first two songs. While the guitar parts are packed with technical ability and great effects, it seemed as though much of their composition was a fairly standard post-rock sound occasionally interrupted by pop-punky chords.

The Review:

Mood rock is a genre that hasn’t seen the spotlight in some time, but Rochester is lucky to be home to a band that is reviving it quickly. I recommend giving this a listen – three listens in a row as a matter of fact. Just be ready to face some feelings you totally forgot existed. 3.9/5 <<