It’s been a long long time since the outer-boros of New York City have produced an ensemble of talented song-crafters such as the band Barkhouse.
Led by the under-stated Will de Zengotita, this threesome is unpretentiously remarkable in their consistent delivery of heart-torn power ballads and Joe Jackson-tinged anthems.
Will’s voice harkens to David Byrne and beckons the early 80’s in the best way and exudes a soul-searching pain as he belts out lyrics like this line from “I Can’t Wait”; How come you never learned to drive/You wake up crying out “this can’t be my life”/You don’t know how my mother cries/She only wants to be a sister to you.
This song, a powerful ode to a diminishing relationship that is slowly going down in flames is one of the best I observed the band perform at a recent live show which was pretty well attended considering the competition these days for things to occupy the time of potential music fans. He further sings: “So what do you want to do tonight?/Let’s hang out with some people we don’t like.”
I ask you my friends… Who among us has not been there?
Another stand out song from Barkhouse is “Closer Weapon” which further demonstrates a strong propensity for clever word play to illustrate their underlying semi-urban form of romantic tragedy that can only come from three guys who have the 7 Train in their blood. “But I know that’s just no excuse/Up on the roof with my pigeon coop/She pulls her knife when the music starts to play/And she said/Dance with me darlin’/I’ve got a closer weapon”
Beyond what I consider extraordinary lyric writing, each member of Barkhouse is also a VERY impressive musician with de Zengotita showing off ample lead guitar prowess when needed, Olmo Tighe, who also pulls double duty as the drummer for Michael Imperioli’s La Dolce Vita, holding it down on backbeat duties and Jay Mort on bass, keyboard and harmonica.
Another remarkable thing about this band is that all of their songs are credited to the full band instead of the usual frontman-takes-all we tend to see from many win-at-any-cost music outfits as of late.
When it comes down to it, Barkhouse is doing everything right…. good, honest songwriting delivered by some great guys who are just so good at it, they couldn’t stop if they wanted to. You can’t help but to root for the home team.
Keep an eye on these lads!