Well it’s been a while since last confronting the dulcet tones of Paul Catten. In fact if memory serves it was Damnation Festival 2011 when he last screamed at me via A Man Called Catten with songs from favourite beat combo Medulla Nocte. Now they were a band who really knew how to rip things up and deliver some of the most intense and extreme albums of their day and indeed any day. Paul has also served time in various other acts such as Murder One and Lazarus Blackstar. When news seeped through that Iron Monkey were reforming with an unknown front-man I fully expected that it would be Mr C behind the microphone and although that proved me wrong here he is again with reactivated group Barrabus. There are demo tracks stretching right back to 2006 and you can find those online and may remember the band supporting My Ruin and Sikth back around that time. Here we have a fully fleshed out selection of songs and a brand new album. Of course it’s far from all about the vocalist and joining him are Seddon, Keen & Evans who have also played with him in some of the aforementioned bands. Needless to say they make a right royal racket on this self-titled banger of a disc.

Song titles are as unhinged as the music and it’s not long before Catten unleashes a discontented vocal sneer on opener ‘My Nightmare Of A Reality TV Contestant’ which would give the likes of John Lydon and Mark E Smith a run for their wonga. It’s the riffs here though that really catch attention as this rolls and grooves away like an out of control juggernaut all over the shop. They really get under the skin and scathe away with an unrelenting force about them defying attempts at music classification every step of the way. The opening track sounds like a cult band that John Peel would have lost his shit to and be playing on a daily basis, it rocks hard from a time before reality TV actually blighted and dulled the senses as the frontman screams away. The elephantine lopping grooves of ‘The Trials Of Joseph Merrick’ unveil hideous face and bring on the manic intensity with everything going mental for a while. I’m reminded a little of recent stuff by Mutation by this and the unhinged zeal of these songs at full speed but there’s a lot of lurching parts that drive you giddy in a Steve Austin / Albini way too that are going to have noise, grind, punk and hardcore enthusiasts lapping things up.

‘Porn’ seems to be the track doing the rounds and yep hopefully it’s one of those songs you won’t be able to get enough of once you have witnessed it. There’s plenty of masturbatory energy about it, some odd melodies and rhythms as it takes you on a ride and a half. ‘Kleptomania’ is probably the track here that really yanked my balls and gave them a good twist on first listen though. It bounces off with a melody that reminds equally of The Beach Boys ‘I Get Around’ and ‘Neat Neat Neat’ by The Damned and takes off like Devin Townsend having forgotten to his medication for a week. Yeah this one really unites the sounds of the past and the present and cheekily steals a little something on the way, there’s even a bit of lunatic bluegrass among the moonshine screaming madness.

‘Behind Closed Doors’ is like a mental gonzoid Melt Banana song done via Mike Patton at his most absurd and shows that the players have certainly not mellowed with age in the slightest and it is going to take someone on their level to really keep up with everything that they are throwing out here. PreOp throws out some great NOLA sounding sludge riffs and is catchy as fuck as the vocals scream alongside them and what else do you need to know about a song called ‘In League With Vader’ it’s obviously gonna be great!

I have been playing this non-stop for a while now and it’s screaming out to be witnessed live all 28 wonderful, deranged minutes of it. Apparently the band play in suits to boot too, which in this heat will probably kill them as much as it does us. If you are looking for a belter of an energy rush either pick up this album or go and eat a whole sweet shop. I can’t say which option is safer but ‘Losing Weight With Barrabus’ is definitely the way to go and who knows that might be a good follow up album title?

(8/10 Pete Woods)