Dark and broody, punchy and fierce, French band Barlin produce an almighty sound built around bass loops, rock drum beats and, strangely, mind-bending bass clarinet and it comes together so well that it forms something that mixes post-punk with the dark synth of underground European clubs.

‘State of Fear’ is a nine-track tour de force of energy and power, I enjoyed it massively (and I’m no expert on this type of music) and it’s strangely accessible.

Opening track ‘Deer Fight’ actually sounds like the soundtrack to two masses of muscle clashing, the vocals are rough, fractured and sit above a dark pounding rhythm that carries on into the second track ‘Revenge’ that in parts sound like indie duo Royal Blood and a screwed up Viking chant. We’re given the confusion of a chorus of laughter before being thrown into a clarinet solo, both brilliant and unexpected.

‘Glowing Whale’ is another dip into the weird, an drum off beat beneath that clarinet, it sounds so natural that it’s a wonder that this style of music isn’t more widespread. The clarinet allows the listener to experience an other-worldly sound that something so common as a saxophone or trumpet couldn’t match, it’s near perfect.

Add to that the tortured vocals and synth layers, you’ve got something that is difficult to classify; can something be entertaining and uncomfortable at the same time?

‘State of Fear’ opens with one of those Royal Blood bass riffs that has been given the heavy-effects treatment, it bounces along with a lone cymbal and Clash-esque vocals, it’s a call to arms, grab your placards and join the march, this is revolutionary music. Dramatic and brilliant.

The whole album is overblown and energetic, how the band reproduce this on stage is anyone’s guess, but I bet it’s worth experiencing. If you like your music interesting, dramatic and punchy, look up this album because it’s so good and unlike anything I’ve heard in a while; think Joy Division mixed with Berlin-era Bowie.

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