Alternative music reviews

Don's Mobile Barbers

Boom Times! July 2006

I was a little bit worried hearing just the occasional track on MySpace that the new album wouldn't be as good as version two point zero. But now I have Boom Times I can relax. Don's Mobile Barbers continue to dominate a melancholic world. A world where there is incomprehension, disappointment, and failure, but there is always love. A delicious sadness dominates all of these melodic songs.

This is the sort of sad music that comforts you and makes you feel better. It's probably even better if you have someone you love to share it with.

The point of mentioning my doubts at the beginning of this short review was to try and hint that you will not be able to appreciate the majesty of Don's Mobile Barbers without immersing yourself in a whole album of their work. Take 40 minutes out of your life and enrich your emotional self.

(There's another review of this wonderful album I did for Blogcritics - but I didn't want to just reprint it here)

version two point zero June 2005

I remember liking the first Don's Mobile Barber's CD I reviewed a while ago. But I really don't remember them being as good as they are on this album. Unashamedly pop but not vacuous in any way and with a prevading sense of loss. Pleasant listening just doesn't describe it - romantic to the extreme but luckily even the happy songs sound sad. Don (I know it's not really his name) sings with a delicate voice that hits all the notes, while the backing is drums, keyboards (machines, I think) with all the humanity and feeling supplied by some lush guitar. They weave their spell of tingling emotion and leave us with a perfect late summer album - still sunny but preparing for the leaves and darkness to fall.

If you like all the minor chords and want to face up to some beautiful sadness, then give Don's Mobile Barber's a call. They will come round and cut away some of the hard callouses that have formed over the years. There may be some blood, but it will taste sweet.

Don's Mobile Barbers May 2004

Don's Mobile Barbers are a two piece (Matt Bartram and Rob Dobson) guitar and synth band. This is their debut album and it's a feast of melodic songs. Occasional tinges of Young Marble Giants in the organ sound and the metronomic beatbox. The guitar textures suggest that there may be a harder, rockier influence that hasn't been allowed to express itself. The vocals are beautifully done and the slightly home-made feel of the album gives it real charm. It's the sort of music that really grows on you as you become more familiar with it. Once those hooks get under your skin you can just relax and wallow in it all.

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