Raw Power Writings: FartBarf

On June 12, 2013 by Simon Weedn

Fartbarf live

Never in my life have I had such low expectations for a band.  It was late on a Monday night and I was tired but I decided to roll down to San Pedro anyways to go see White Murder at Harold’s Place as well as Dischord Records act E.D. Sedgwick.  White Murder played a good set but whoever was running the sound had boosted the highs too loud and made everything sound a bit more ear piercing than usual.  I’d never heard of E.D. and their very artsy brand of punk rock wasn’t quite up my alley.  Headlining that night, was a band whose cringe inducing name I’d seen around quite a bit – Fartbarf.  That’s right.  You heard me correctly.  Fartbarf.

Fartbarf, the band

Again, my expectations for a band had never been so low.  I’d never heard Fartbarf’s music, but based on name alone, I figured it was going to be some incredibly aggressive grind-core act whose chaotic tone would cause you to clench your jaw so hard your teeth would crack.  I had made up my mind early in the night that I was going to leave before they played. But, I got immersed in some good conversations and I lost track of time.  Before I knew it, the band was getting ready to hit the stage and I was warned by several people that leaving before they played would be a mistake.  I decided I’d watch the first thirty seconds of whatever it was they were going to do and then burn rubber out of there.

The band, decked out in jumpsuits and strangely unsettling caveman masks, held down the first few chords on the analog synths they had plugged in and their drummer struck up a beat and suddenly I felt myself captivated.  This was not a grind-core band, no, far from it.  If Chromeo and DEVO married and had a child, Fartbarf would be its name.  The band blends dancier late 70’s/early 80’s punk/new wave with contemporary pop electro funk/funktronica.  Their songs were unbelievably catchy and their delivery was incredibly tight.  After two minutes, I found myself at the bar ordering another ice cold Coors (I could tell because the mountains on the bottle were blue) and preparing to stomp my feet and shake my ass for the rest of their set.  In fact, the reception that they got at Harold’s was unlike most I’ve seen.  While most bands can whip the crowd into a frenzy of pumping arms and gyrating bodies, Fartbarf had the place legitimately dancing.  Normally awkward punk rockers were throbbing and pulsing to their rhythms and swaying, eyes closed, to their melodies.  In between songs I sat there in stunned silence as I don’t think I’ve ever had a band so quickly and so thoroughly reverse my opinion of them.

Fartbarf, the band

Fartbarf’s set continued for what felt like well over an hour. During that time, the band not only demonstrated a serious knack for writing poppy dance numbers but undeniable skill with their instruments and playing off one another.  That night, they probably turned in one of the best performances that Harold’s has seen so far this year.

Sadly, the band has yet to put a record out so I have no individually rad tunes to speak about.  However, I was assured by one of the band members that they’d be delivering a debut release in the next few months and I, literally, can’t wait for it.  If you see Fartbarf’s name, and it’s hard to miss, on any flyer for a show near you, run, don’t walk to that concert.  They’re one of the best acts rising out of Los Angeles at the moment and I don’t think it’s going to be too long before we see these guys making some noise on a national level.


Visit http://stuff.fartbarf.com/ for more music by Fartbarf.

3 Responses to “Raw Power Writings: FartBarf”

  • TrishLies

    Thank you for finally writing something relevant to this band. I had the same exact experience in downtown LA at the Redwood. Amazing! Can’t wait for the album.

  • Fartbarf played a rad set at The Satelite. They are awesome!

  • SatansGrrl13

    I love this band. I don’t even like electronic music. And I love this band. They actually perform live. They don’t hit play and walk away. These dudes are legit. And rock. Hard. An act not to be missed if possible.

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