Thursday, June 18, 2009

Barrel - Discography (including Live at WREK)

Here is the download: Barrel Discography

1-9: from the "Pine and Cotton, Sand" Unreleased LP
10-11: two unreleased tracks from the session
12: from the "Innovation Manure Hauling" compilation
13-14: from the "Compatibility of Dissonance" compilation
15-23: from the Live at WREK session - January 19, 1996

Barrel were from the early to mid-nineties Georgia Tech scene that included Bite, Rebar, and several others that I am completely forgetting at the moment. They would play a lot at Dottie's, Home Park house shows and The Somber Reptile. It was at the Somber Reptile where my band Car vs. Driver met up with them and we started playing shows together. I also knew Rick Moore back when I was back in high school through my girlfriend at the time, and I remember him once showing me his new black Gibson SG, which became the guitar he played in Barrel.

Barrel started with a different rhythm section before taking Rebar's and settling down into the prime lineup of Rick Moore on guitar/vocals, David Daniell on guitar, Andrew Burnes on bass and Scott Robbins on drums. Upon initial inspection, these guys were Louisville incarnate, but over time I would say they surpassed many of the Kentuckian bands in sound, musicianship and songwriting, and they just became Barrel, completely owning their sound.
In March of 1995, they recorded their "Pine and Cotton, Sand" album with Geoff Turner up in DC (thanks, Lee, etc.). I believe it was at WGNS studios, but I am not sure. I remember them coming out to a Car vs. Driver/Scout/Plunger/Bubble Jug show put on by the Beehive Collective in DC while they were recording. Interesting note: Beehive shut its doors one month later, and an interesting article on the collective can be found here. Rick later gave me a tape copy of their tracks, but I didn't actually get a vinyl copy until this year when Sonn av Krusher played with Lay Down Mains. I burned it directly to CD on my first listen, just to get the cleanest version possible, which is the version included in this post. Also, there were two songs on the tape that I didn't recognize, so I have included them as bonus tracks. Kip Thomas gave me a tape recording of their Live at WREK session, but if I ever get a CD of the original recording from the studio, I will replace this version as this one has been listened to quite a bit. They recorded two songs for the "Compatibility of Dissonance" CD in late 1996, but I am not sure of any other recordings that exist for these guys. Rick seems to have boxes of the unreleased LP under his bed, pressed but without any artwork, so you'll have to barter with him to get one of your own.

Barrel ended sometime in late 1996, early 1997, Rick Moore joining Galanas:Cerdd with the remaining members of Freemasonry, Andrew Burns and David Daniell starting San Agustin with Bryan Fielden from The Forty-Two, and Scott Robbins teaming up with his old bandmate Gary Flom from Rebar and Ben Davis from Habeus Corpses to form The Purkinje Shift. From there, all members have gone on to millions of more bands, projects, and excursions into infinity...


  1. I have one of the LPs and it's great. I didn't even know they made them until one day I was wasting time around the warehouses and saw them and Rick gave me one.

    I'm pretty this was recorded with Geoff Turner at WGNS or that's what I was told.

    I remember one of the last times I saw them at the Driverdome they played a cover of Crain's "Coalmine #666" which was pretty cool because the only recording of it then was that Simple Machines 7" that sounded like shit.

  2. Yeah. Geoff Turner did it. This is one of the better records from the Atlanta DIY scene, and it was never released. It's a shame. I really like Rick's vocals.

  3. James, thanks for posting this stuff. I assumed that the Live@WREK would be another, earlier performance I'd heard many times, but I am pretty sure I've never heard this tape. I remember that gig primarily for the equipment malfunctions - I had honestly forgotten a few of those songs entirely, and it was a strange feeling hearing them again. I hate that the last song is cut off because I can't remember how it ended!

    I had a lot of fun in Barrel, especially when we were tight, we had all our big amps working, and when people came out to see us. Those three variables didn't always coincide. We tried hard to sound like one giant guitar, and playing with Scott was great. He hit hard and rarely missed.

    After Barrel, Rick and Scott went on with lots of great bands that were related in style, but David and I really went away from rock for a long time. That's really what happened in the end, I guess, David and I being drawn away from that style, looking for other things.

    Later, David told me he wished we had become more of a metal band, and he actually put together a pretty incredible metal band called Essentialist a few years ago. I was always wanting a little more chaos and noise.

    Listening to that Live@WREK, I hate that I didn't hold on to hard-and-heavy a little more. I've played in harder bands since, and heavier, but not as hard and heavy as Barrel.

    Re Coalminee #666: I am so delighted that somebody remembers us covering that. I sat up three nights in a row with my headphones on, picking up and puttin' down the needle on Rick's record of that, working out the guitar and bass, trying to get them perfect. I wanted to decipher it, like a broken, incomplete fossil - that recording was so crappy. I wrote down what I thought the lyrics were, little snippets about life in a coal town, best as I could tell. Rick came up with something else, I don't know what he sang to it. We loved Crain, and I was proud we pulled that cover off. Are there other, cleaner recordings of that song somewhere? I never heard anything but the "October" 7".

  4. PS: David has a couple of pictures of us playing a house party on Hemphill, probably Tasso Costarides's house, circa summer '96. It was a good party, but I don't have the pictures. Maybe David will see this and post them... I think they're the only pictures of us in action ever.

  5. Track #11, untitled and labelled as unreleased, actually did see the light of day as "Dinero (For A Few Dollars More)" on a compilation 7" titled "What April Showers Bring", put out by a label in Bloomington, IN called Ape Records. The other three bands on the record were The Soviets, in ano, and Failsafe. The packaging was quite elaborate and the vinyl was a nice marbled grey. The catalog number is Ape Records #1.

  6. James, thanks for posting this. I assume I have a cassette of that Live @ WREK around here somewhere but I'm sure I haven't heard it in well over 10 years (who knows if it is melted by now).

    This thing won't let me put photos directly into a comment, but you can find those photos Burnes was talking about by looking here (Rick and Scott) and here (me and Andrew).

  7. Hi David - thanks for the pictures! Actually, it is very difficult to get these downloaded off Flickr. Do you happen to have them as files you can send me? If not, I will just add the links into the main body of the post.