IDYLLS
The Barn


3.5
great

Review

by Arche CONTRIBUTOR (81 Reviews)
October 7th, 2017 | 31 replies


Release Date: 2017 | Tracklist

Review Summary: Noisy and treading close to incomprehensible in parts, The Barn is nonetheless an interesting direction for the Brisbane hardcore quartet.

The Barn is probably the noisiest that Idylls have ever been. Slowly unplucking the hardcore guy ropes that grounded Farewell All Joy and Prayer for Terrene, the Brisbane quartet’s latest proffers something more bridging the gap between experimental post-punk and Naked City’s brand of untethered, freeform, deathsax grindcore – if ever such a gap existed.

All over The Barn, musical expectations are toyed with, as though it’s less an exercise in enjoyability and more one to see how many conventions they can flout in half an hour. Idylls seem quite content to keep memorable (nay, tangible) guitar riffs to a minimum, instead melding with a Zorn-like, psychotic saxophone performance to create walls of abrasive distortion for Lloyd Daniels to lay percussive waste under (the lines between jazzy proficiency and technical masturbation never quite clear). The bass guitar, in a string instrument role-reversal, provides a sizable amount of the bedrock for ears to anchor to – ‘Muck and Vulnerability’, ‘Maslow’s Dogs’ and ‘Glare from The Shallow Basin’ all featuring tasty low-end sections, more often than not the only beacon of ‘sensibility’ amidst the imposing walls of noise.

Climaxes, or at least, realised climaxes are a novelty, Idylls apparently viewing energy conservation in low standing compared to quick, aural devastation; as such, 9 tracks feel more like 14 or 15. This creates a little bit of an issue. On one hand the pacing is perfect, as the short and sweet flurries of vitriol keep the release pounding along; on the other, it makes for an occasionally maddening listen, as interesting ideas find themselves pushed to the wayside for yet another saxophone-led blizzard (the 10 seconds of ostensibly laid-back jazz in The Barn’s eponymous closer spring to mind, seeing no further development beyond disappearing into almost three minutes of mess). In truth, it all threatens to become a bit much.

Its most convincingly enjoyable moments, therefore (and by extension, its most resonant), come from where Idylls allow themselves to breathe a little – and thankfully, there’s enough of those to render The Barn still great fun to listen to. Chris Brownbill's production lends opener ‘No Virility’, a rare guitar-led cut, a decided Converge-esque tone. 80’s punk influence bleeds through ‘Neuroqueering On Shift’ and ‘Learnt young’ and, as frustrating as its decay ultimately proves, the saxophone in ‘Muck and Vulnerability’ revels in jazzy, Oriental mystery. The Queensland group do – just – manage to keep proceedings short enough that their venomous approach remains effective, and if percussive excellency, avant-garde songwriting and relentless abrasion are your thing, then The Barn will be right up your alley; for the rest of us, there’s enough here to have fun with through the fog.



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user ratings (22)
Chart.
3.6
great

Comments:Add a Comment 
Archelirion
Contributing Reviewer
October 7th 2017


5447 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

A smidge disappointing after their first two perhaps, but still a cracking listen - where it's good, it's very good. Any corrections, contemplations and whathaveyou as always welcomed :]



https://idylls.bandcamp.com/album/the-barn

verdant
Contributing Reviewer
October 7th 2017


1877 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

concise and incisive as ever, aaron -------------- u complete me

Archelirion
Contributing Reviewer
October 7th 2017


5447 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Aw, thanks man :] Dunno if this'd be your biscuit or not, but you've surprised me before!

FearThyEvil
October 7th 2017


15374 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

Not digging this anywhere near as much as the last album.

verdant
Contributing Reviewer
October 7th 2017


1877 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

biscuits are my thing ;0

Archelirion
Contributing Reviewer
October 7th 2017


5447 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Yeah, I'm fond of biscuits too :3

I think Prayers was that right balance of focused songwriting and stabbing your ear, whereas this is a little more focused on the latter.

FearThyEvil
October 7th 2017


15374 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

I never listened to their debut but I'm trying it out now. Little quirky in areas but it's pretty cool

FearThyEvil
October 7th 2017


15374 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

Do appreciate the uniqueness this band brings to hardcore though.

Archelirion
Contributing Reviewer
October 7th 2017


5447 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Oh yeah, I can't knock them for pushing the boat out. Listening to Farewell To Joy now - they've managed to do it so between Farewell and Prayers they sound familiar enough, and then Prayers to The Barn likewise, but the difference between Farewell and The Barn is very noticeable. Less math, more noise.

Chortles
October 7th 2017


20841 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

great review, you struck a nice balance between information presented and conciseness. i've been looking forward to hearing this, i don't listen to a lot of modern hardcore but i enjoyed prayer for terrene a lot

Digging: Burger / Ink - Las Vegas

clavier
October 7th 2017


454 Comments


excellent review aaron (and excellent choice of profile picture as well)

Archelirion
Contributing Reviewer
October 7th 2017


5447 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Thanks to you both :]

(Percy is obviously best engine)

zaruyache
October 7th 2017


17914 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0 | Sound Off

This sounds like stupid nonsense so far--in a good way. Like if Converge had Mr. Bungle's sense of humor.

calmrose
October 7th 2017


2296 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

this rules so much

Digging: Frontierer - Orange Mathematics

Conmaniac
Contributing Reviewer
October 7th 2017


19696 Comments


woah that av change...nice rev tho arch! reads rly well altho I'm curious why you decided to italicize "another" and not "- just -"
either way reads silky smooth and even tho I hate grindcore the sax aspect makes this very intriguing...

Archelirion
Contributing Reviewer
October 7th 2017


5447 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Haha, thank you :3 I italicised "another" to highlight just how many times in this album the sax-noise walls come in. It's worth giving a go I think!

Conmaniac
Contributing Reviewer
October 7th 2017


19696 Comments


yeah I get that I was more commenting on the use of the hyphens but it makes sense if you wanted to differentiate how you emphasized each point. sax-noise walls are the main sell for me, let's see what happens I guess

Archelirion
Contributing Reviewer
October 7th 2017


5447 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Oh, I follow now. I just did it for special emphasis so I probably won't change it, but I do see what you were getting at :]

tacos n stuff
October 7th 2017


2701 Comments


Wait woah I thought these guys broke up
Surprised they slacked a bit on this one it seems, but its kinda hard to beat prayer, that album ripped

ScuroFantasma
Contributing Reviewer
October 7th 2017


10877 Comments


Great review man! This sounds like my kind of chaotic.

Digging: Russkaja - Energia!



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