As each year passes it seems harder to find something truly unique to feast upon so those encounters which do carry that special character make a most striking impact and hopefully temptation. The sound of Swedish outfit Baronen & Satan magnificently fits that claim and hope, its nature a psyche twisting trespass and voice a senses searing incitement which together go to make one glorious seduction on body and imagination.
Though formed in 2014 after guitarist Philippe Jean-Piere Dominique Sainz met vocalist Linda Rydelius, the pair uniting in love and creativity once meeting, our introduction to Gothenburg hailing Baronen & Satan is now through Dirty Water Records USA and their releasing of the band’s new EP, Why Does The Blood Never Stick To Your Teeth? in tandem with the re-release of 2016 album Satan Is A Lady. It is a long overdue meeting as hindsight shows the band has been teasing attention across a horde of tracks and years but one we like so many others are greedily devouring. Completed by bassist Marie Bergkvist and drummer Stefan Young Sik Olsson earlier this year, Baronen & Satan create what we assumed has been self-penned as “Garagedeath”. Whatever you call it, the Baronen & Satan sound is a wonderfully invasive yet flirtatious trespass of reverb grafted adventure conjured from a mix of garage and psych rock, garage punk, noise, and punk rock with plenty more teasing away in its predacious and haunting swamp thick sonic psychosis.
Produced by Jim Diamond (White Stripes, Dirt Bombs), Baronen & Satan’s new EP greedily consumes the senses from its first breath. Why Does The Blood Never Stick To Your Teeth? opens up with new single Elisa and instantly consumes ears in a tide of riffs and rhythms entangled in spicily melodic tendrils. As a bass grumble teases, beats fly with fevered energy, Sainz’s guitar weaving away with salacious grooves as the distinct and unique tones of Rydelius deliciously ‘whine’. Her presence almost steals all attention but with the devilish textures and enterprise at play around her, the whole song seduces in equal measure to get things flying.
The following Buttermilk Sky has a similar but fully individual presence and sound, its psych and garage rock bred rock ‘n’ roll an incitement to appetite and hips as it dances provocatively in ears. Its citric melodic spicing is less kind in the second track compared to its predecessor but just as alluring; the song offering a beefier intrusion taken to darker temptation yet again in the EP’s title track. With the swinging biting beats of Olsson rampant and Bergkvist’s bass sound gnarly, seduction is swift from personal tastes; add the sonic squall of Sainz and Rydelius hellish beauty in voice and submission to the track’s rapacious rock ‘n’ roll is welcome slavery which the melodic toxicity with its tinge of Echo and The Bunnymen compounds.
All three tracks unite for one unwavering increasing addictive proposal to have us reeled in hook line and sinker; a triumph equally matched by last year’s album, Satan Is A Lady. It similarly needs mere seconds to tempt and begin brewing up a tight grip as opener Lady Creature lies its initial sonic nagging upon ears. Quickly the boisterous beats of Olsson descend and romp; the track bouncing around with eager tenacity as Rydelius casts her riveting vocal antics into the stomping devilment of a proposal. At times Scottish trio The Creeping Ivies is provoked in thought by the track but a great spicing to something again as unique as all the subsequent essences and adventures across the album prove to be, all hues in viral sonic toxins particular to Baronen & Satan.
Next up is Catwalk, its feline prowl lively and predacious with Olsson’s swings marking every step with zeal. Always fuelled by a boisterous spirit, the song stalks the listener as vocals wrap their flirtatious clutches around psych and garage infestation. Magnetic drama, the song sublimely bewitches before the even more energetic exploits of Asskisser bound in. With shimmering sonic suggestion and more rhythmic rascality, a PiL-esque sheen invading its bold canter, the track commands the listener like a puppeteer, its noise nurtured tendrils veining its wonderful manipulation.
Headcuts lurks and taunts with an instantly open Cramps inspiration, continuing to size up its victim before launching into a rapacious garage punk stroll with fifties rockabilly spicing. As its predecessor, the track is glorious; caustic manna for ears and instincts which a fine line of sixties garage rock a la Cradle to add another twist.
Expanding and thickening its ravenous enterprise and character, Satan Is A Lady hits another sweet spot with the sonic buzz of The Projects, a minute and a breath of irresistible niggly punk rock which Comet emulates in success with its own demonic affair for ears and imagination. As most tracks, its core is a relentless nagging which gets right under the skin; heavy dark bait bred on rhythmic and sonic almost wanton dexterity honed into a cauldron of virulent temptation as carefully woven as it is rabidly unleashed.
The album’s title track swings in with muscles tensed next, a riveting PiL meets Siouxsie and the Banshees hook circling ears as once more the compelling tones of Rydelius grip the bold intrusion. Sainz’s initial bait swiftly develops a Buzzcocks spiced essence as the track flexes its animated imagination, every second a beguiling and infectious scheme to enslave.
Through the psychotic stomp of Pony and its sonic Cramps meets the Orson Family moonshine pleasure only escalates, the latter of those hues a bolder essence in the dark saunter of Sugarwalls which too only inflames an already greedy appetite for band and sound. Invasively ethereal and ravenously portentous, the song also gives a glimpse of what you might imagine bands like Blood Ceremony and Jess and the Ancient Ones could sound like if mutant off springs of Lux Interior and Jim Morrison.
The album ends with the invasively haunting Underwater Love, an immersion into a sonic sea of intrigue and unpredictable imagination steered by the alluring vocal ingenuity of Rydelius. It is dark, bordering on suffocating and a compelling end to a quite thrilling and refreshing album.
Uniqueness is rare but when it comes it should be devoured especially when it bears the dark discord and beauty of Baronen & Satan.
Both Why Does The Blood Never Stick To Your Teeth? and Satan Is A Lady are out now @ https://baronenandsatan.bandcamp.com/album/why-does-the-blood-never-stick-to-your-teeth and https://baronenandsatan.bandcamp.com/album/satan-is-a-lady respectively.
Pete RingMaster 07/11/2017
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