Article By: Pat ‘Riot’ Whitaker ‡ Edited By: Leanne Ridgeway
When it comes to two individuals that make heavy music, the duo of Amy Tung Barrysmith (vocals and bass) and Jon Barrysmith (drums), also known as YEAR OF THE COBRA, are hard to beat.
This pair has been on my musical radar since they initially surfaced from within the Seattle, Washington underground scene in 2015, but I’ve not managed to see them live yet. This quandary shall hopefully be resolved in a little under a month from now when The Barrysmiths make their first appearance at the MARYLAND DOOM FEST. Yes, this is the plan and why YEAR OF THE COBRA is the latest act to land on my in-no-particular order list of Must-See Bands.
As I have professed on many occasions, duos like YEAR OF THE COBRA have an inherent astound factor to me as a music fan. Their overall ability to create and execute what they do in a studio, on an album, or live upon a stage is more than just intriguing to me. Besides, Amy and Jon damned sure do all of that better than many and there is ample evidence of this to support my statement.
The best proof of this is the officially recorded documentation of their talent, and that of those present in an external capacity, like producer Billy Anderson, for example. Anderson has helmed the two most recent releases from YEAR OF THE COBRA, 2017’s ‘Burn Your Dead‘ EP and 2016 full-length, ‘…In The Shadows Below‘. Those, along with the 2015 EP, ‘The Black Sun‘, make up the duo’s discography, with the addition of a 2016 split with Mos Generator, ‘Gamma – Hydra/The Siege‘, which consisted of one track from each band.
The compositional contents on these releases are where the real means of the duo’s mind-warping abilities dwell. Their fluid melding of psych-doom, alt. rock, heavy metal, and sludge is second to none. Factor in the multifaceted vocals provided by Amy, oft-times haunting or ethereal, to outright aggressive, or sometimes even pop-inflected, and it makes for compelling audio.
So compelling that it is downright irresistible to me, and this is why YEAR OF THE COBRA are included on my top Must-See Bands at next month’s event. Join me, joining them, when they play at Cafe 611 on Day 1 of Maryland Doom Fest 2019.
MARYLAND DOOM FEST will take place in Frederick, MD. June 20th – 23rd at side-by-side venues Cafe 611 and Guido’s Speakeasy. There is still ample time to make plans and go subject yourself to four days of doom that you will never forget, assuming you survive, that is.