10 March 2011


BARB is a collaboration of some of New Zealand’s finest output of the last few years – Liam Finn, Connan Mockasin, Lawrence Arabia, Eliza-Jane Barnes, and Seamus Ebbs. Although they’ve been ‘rocking out’ together for almost 12 months, now seems just a good a time as any to write some pleasant words about them seeings, like most good bands, they don’t seem to be getting the attention they deserve.

As you might expect from reading the line-up, if you know anything about the band’s members’ other work, BARB is far from your usual ‘supergroup’. Rather than pooling their individual talents to create a bland, middle of the road rock band (like seems to often be the case with other ‘supergroups’), BARB keep things all kinds of weird and interesting.

Take ‘Leo’. It’s a song, written by Connan Mockasin’s five-year old alter ego, about Leonardo DiCaprio. And it’s quite that simple. Without trying to be clever about it and wrapping the song in metaphors, it features brilliantly basic lyrics (“such a brilliant actor / works out every day / always knows what to say”) that won’t fail to bring a smile to your face (if you have a soul, that is). Musically it’s interesting and catchy psych-pop but, instead of drowned in fuzz or covered with a lo-fi blanket, it’s clear and played with precision. Wonderfully written songs, brilliantly played.

Although there are only a couple of songs knocking around the corners of the internet, they do have a full-length album available from here. Otherwise, check out some stuff below.

BARB - Havin' A Baby

BARB - Leo

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