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The Barren Spinsters - Let The Music Ruin Your Life (self-released)

28 February 2024

Describing themselves as “the kind of band that Jack White would maybe join if he lowered his standards?” reveals The Barren Spinsters to be both wonderfully self-deprecating and wholly aware of where they fit in to the musical landscape. It’s always good when a band can poke fun at themselves but on the strength of their latest album, the knowingly named Let The Music Ruin Your Life, I think that young Jack would be onboard in a heartbeat without having to adjust his sonic benchmarks one iota.

Let The Music Ruin Your Life is a collection of songs that certainly don’t need any label more complex or niche than to be tagged rock ‘n’ roll. No post-this or that-core labels are required here, it’s just foot-on-the-moniter, fist-in-the-air, heads-down-no-nonsense, 70’s infused, boogiefied (that’s a word, right?) rock. It’s as simple as that. It’s as pure as that.

And their songs are shot through with tantalising echoes of iconic bands past while they push forward into a bright new future for the genre. If “Starting Rumours” reminds us of the bluesy grooves of bands like Free, there are moments when they wander into the hallowed ground of The Faces as they do on “Living Back Home.” (man, I can picture young Rodney pouting and posing, strutting and mugging across the stage to this). And if songs like “Golden Age” blends soul and rock together in a way that says “The Black Crowes” did so well, “Really It’s Grey” is a mental reminder to dust off your old Georgia Satellites records.

This is a great album, rock and roll as it should be. As it was. And, thanks to bands like The Barren Spinsters, as it will continue to be. Forward-thinking music built out of the echoes of the past. How cool is that?