Saturday, 25 January 2020

Anton Barbeau - Kenny Vs. Thrust

Released: 24 Jan 2020
Label: Big Stir
Listen and Buy Here

California's Anton Barbeau is a recent discovery for me and has been making albums since the 90s. His sound is a blend of Power Pop with the Psych rock of Robyn Hitchcock. He has collaborated with legendary Psych band - The Bevis Frond.  

From listening to his earlier work, it is hard to see why he is not better known. I'd recommend people who are new to him to also check out the 'Empire of Potential' compilation which includes lost gems - 'Automatic Door' and 'Third Eye'. His surreal and very entertaining lyrics set him apart from contemporaries.

My favourite song here is opener 'Wire from the Wall' which sounds like 80s R.E.M. but with more of a psychedelic sound. It is brilliantly catchy and memorable.

Other highlights include 'Jingle Jangle' which, as the title would suggest, is an example of his more melodic guitar pop. It is very summery, at times recalling The Byrds. 'Haunted in Fenland' demonstrates storytelling vaguely reminiscent of Dylan, with epic production. 'Back to Balmain' sounds like a mix of 80s electro pop with Psych, and also brought to mind the artist - Ariel Pink. 'Tidy Up Yourself' is gloriously surreal and even has reggae beats. 

There is so much variety in these songs, making it a hugely enjoyable and entertaining listening experience. A lost songwriting genius, well worth checking out.

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