Byre are too clever by half, with their artwork for their album ‘Here In Dead Lights’ depicting a cow – a byre of course is a cowshed. But their cleverness goes further than this; the group, who create very catchy tracks with mesmerising bass and synths, are led by Zach Zint, and Aaron Tanner, the latter of whom has a mostly instrumental side-gig called Off-Ox…when he’s not in the Byre.
Additionally, Tanner owns Melodic Virtue, a small independent publisher, which makes limited-run coffee table books about underground bands from the 80s and 90s. Very niche! His most recent productions have been a book about The Butthole Surfers, and he’s got one on Ministry coming out in December.
Musically they’re very clever as well, and this is illustrated quite effectively by ‘Object Permanence’, from their new release, ‘Here In Dead Lights’. On first listen, not to mention second and third, ‘Object Permanence’ strikes me as very familiar. There’s a tune whose name I can’t recall at this time, but I’ve got the chorus melody going through my head – and it just reminds me of that.
It really shouldn’t; ‘Object Permanence’ is a very different sort of song. There’s a stabby, synthy, industrial sound that runs almost all the way through the entire track. The vocals are ethereal and feel almost as if they’re an afterthought, like the artists started out with an instrumental and then considered it was probably going to work a lot better with a vocal track as well. There’s a sense of lethargy which somehow is not at all at odds with the high energy provided by the constant drumming, which sews the whole piece together.
At just past the halfway point we hear a distinct break in the synths, where it drops off and gives your ears a slight respite from the fuzz – but it doesn’t last for long. It’s joined however from there by some spacey pops and keyboard trills, before fading out to the end. There’s certainly a lot to pivot your interest. ‘Object Permanence’ is at once disturbing, intriguing, and captivating.