Barren? // Parisian Anarcho-Punk Band Premiere Debut Album “Distracted To Death
. . . Diverted From Reality”
Paris-based band Barren? deliver a dark and moody anarcho-punk on their excellent debut LP.
Paris three-piece Barren? has been one of our favorite French punk bands since the release of their exceptional demo in 2016, followed by a 4-way split EP with fellow post-punk-influenced political punk bands Douche Froide, Litovsk, and Alarm in 2019.
Formed by singer/bass player Romain (also in Turquoise) and guitarist Jean-Phi (Krigskade), the band is now joined by veteran drummer Jawad to deliver a fresh take on the classic UK anarcho/peace-punk sound with a post-punk sensibility.
It’s a damn good album, and easily one of the best punk LPs of 2021!
The idea for the band started in 2014 when Mat (then on the bass guitar in fast hardcore band Peur Panique) courageously decided to learn the drums in order to form a moody anarcho-punk-influenced band along with the then very inactive bass player Romain. They were soon joined by Jean-Phi, from käng hardcore unit Krigskade, on guitar, an instrument he was also very much in the process of learning. The three-piece bravely started writing songs and settled for the name Barren? in order to convey a sense of the lifeless alienation inflicted by modern society but offering a glimmer of hope through the question mark. Pretty deep shit indeed.
Oriane was then invited to provide vocals for Barren? and the band started gigging in Paris with the likes of The Stops, Scab Eater, and even Conflict. This lineup also recorded five songs for a self-titled demo (released on tape and CDr) in 2016 and in early 2017 they embarked on a tour with Short Days from Lille. By the end of the year, Oriane left to live in Bordeaux (she would join Bombardement later on) and it was decided that the band would keep going as a three-piece with Romain handling vocals as well as playing the bass.
Barren? were then asked in 2019 to contribute two songs for a split record with Litovsk from Brest, Douche Froide from Lille and Alarm from Grenoble and a recording session was booked. Sadly, Mat got injured shortly before and had to be replaced with Alice from Trashley for this session. Two songs were recorded, one of which was included on the 12” record. Afterwards, Mat’s recurring injury meant that he was sadly no longer able to play the drums for Barren? and then-retired-from-the-music-business veteran Jawad was recruited.
The new lineup got to play some solid gigs with touring acts like Vidro or Pawns, finally got their shit together and recorded eight songs in Brest in early 2021 at Jackie Cadiou’s (Syndrome 81) home studio for their Diverted From Reality… Distracted to Death LP released on Destructure, Les Chœurs de l’Ennui and Symphony of Destruction in Autumn 2021.