PLAY DEAD’s returning single kicks off by setting the scene. “Barbershop, nine in the morning, everybody’s snoring, and my hair’s too long.” The premise established, “Barbershop” takes us through singer Joe Blair’s experience getting a bad trim.
And while “Barbershop” aggressively asserts, “Don’t you dare fuck up my hair,” in real life, Joe Blair never had the guts to confront his barber. So, even though he had “places to be” and “mates to see,” he just hid his hair instead. “He wore a hat once for two straight months,” teases bassist Ollie Clarke.
The whole narrative gets a cinematic treatment with the guitar licks interjecting between each stanza. It’s almost like a narrator filling in the emotional backstory of the tragic hero. The thrumming drums from Elias Brewin pound in betrayal, making us angry alongside the protagonist.
The whole track features a “less is more” approach to harmony, letting the tongue-in-cheek story take center stage. Even at a breakneck pace, there’s plenty of room for each comedic situation to unfold. And at a tight two minutes, the rush of energy feels perfectly calibrated for a final, sarcastic release.
Stream “Barbershop” below.
Ben is an advertising Madman who spends his days with words and music. When he’s not writing for his supper, he’s eating it at some of NYC’s most interesting restaurants.