Bellman Barker
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Bellman Barker

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Anybody who is familiar with my personal musical taste, knows how much of a feat it is for Bellman Barker to get a nod on my best of list. This EP is full of catchy, sun-drenched pop. The thing that makes these songs stand out, is the substance that exists behind them. Sugar usually washes away pretty quickly, but not in this case. I am looking forward to seeing what they can accomplish on a full length. - Instrumental Analysis


"[Bellman Barker's] old-school sound rife with breezy melodies and infectious hooks makes the band an irresistible blend of '70s rock and modern swagger." - Washington Post Express


Zach Braff, alert! A new band that writes incredibly poppy, sunny, really really smart melodies is here. Get on top of that shit. Bellman Barker, a DC-based five-piece do a completely proper take on twee, mixed with bits and pieces of power pop and indie rock (think post-grrrl Olympia). We get visions of girls with glasses and cardigans, boys with kittens on their tee shirts and all of them looking for their 45 adapter for their record players.

The boys recorded their breezy EP, Anise & Anisette, and we can't do anything but stand firmly behind them. We are totally expecting big big things from this Capital City group.
- TheCultureOfMe.com


"DC's own bellman barker churns out the kind of heartfelt, summer-friendly indie pop that makes you want to hold hands and barbecue while listening to 'molly maroon' on repeat." - Panda Head


"'Anise & Anisette' displays the eclectic talents of Bellman Barker: the confidence in their songwriting, hook after wonderful hook, the soft, yet assured delivery of the vocals, and their ability to revel in their songs’ sunny demeanors without coming across as saccharine sweet. For a debut EP, this is impressive stuff. It won’t be long before this band’s infectious ‘60s-style indie-pop starts making serious waves. The future is wide open for Bellman Barker." - OnTap Magazine


Bellman Barker reminds me a little bit of Dr. Jekyl and Mr. Hyde. On their Anise & Anisette EP they sound delicate, heartfelt and just a little precious — not unlike a certain Scottish band whose name starts with the same first syllable. Live, however, they're a totally different animal; a sweaty, rollicking power-pop machine. I'm not sure which of these is Bellman Barker's true personality but I don't really care: schizophrenia never sounded quite so good.

--Mehan Jayasuriya - DCist.com


Personality counts for a lot and Bellman Barker have it. ‘Anise & Anisette’ mixes theatrical vocals with the kind of harmony-laden
choruses that trap in your memory. Released in May of 07, ‘A&A’ contributes songs with stories worth following.

--Shervin Lainez - BrightestYoungThings.com


The opening band was known as Bellman Barker. These guys are awesome. Probably one of the better indie bands out there. I say with a little work, they can probably become the next Indie success story after bands like The Killers a few years ago, Plain White T’s and Panic! At The Disco. Now here’s the sad part about this concert, the sound system was not 100% this night. There were a lot of times when the bands lyrics were being drowned out by the instruments during this band. I really do say this is a band to watch out for though. I say give them a few years and they will be selling out arenas across the country like the aforementioned bands. 5/5 - Cultural Adventures


To quote two reviews from our own magazine, Bellman Barker exudes “confidence in their songwriter, hook after wonderful hook”; have “impressive stuff”; and their music is “Positive ... deftly made.” We couldn’t have said it better ourselves. Oh wait, we did! - OnTap Magazine


This album bounces. A lot. Washington, DC retro popsters Bellman Barker love their 60s British Top of the Pops hits and really have a way with big catchy hooks and harmonies. If you like the Kinks, Beatles, or the Move before they started morphing into ELO, get this album. It starts out with Charles Kil, a bouncy Kinks-ish song with a catchy ba-ba-ba chorus and an old analog synthesizer in places. The guitars go nuts, then they bring it down to just the vocals on the last verse, then the guitars get all big again. The next cut Molly Maroon is driven by fast piano chordal work: it sounds a lot like something the Jayhawks could have done during their Sound of Lies period. In Their Defense is the closest thing on the cd to the Move, and it’s great, with its rattling drums and clanging, sixtiesish guitar arpeggios sounding like they’re running through an old Vox amp, just at the point where they break up into distortion. Nice big drum pileup on the highway at the end. I Do I Do reverts to sound of Molly Maroon with a lot of piano harmonizing with the guitar. The album’s final track is a surprisingly quiet little fragment. This is a wonderfully catchy, throwback album, an auspicious debut that ought to get the band plenty of college radio airplay. If they sound anything like this live, they’re definitely worth seeing. - Lucid Culture


Discography

Anise & Anisette EP (self-released May 2007)

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Bio

Bellman Barker are a tight-knit four-piece music ensemble from Washington DC. Formed in 2005, the group has become a fixture on the burgeoning local indie-pop scene, sharing the stage with many great acts including Blitzen Trapper, White Rabbits, Cage the Elephant, Le Loup, His Name is Alive, and Tally Hall among countless others. Melding 60's vocal melodies with a pounding rhythm section and rock 'n' roll hooks, Bellman Barker plays to a strength in classic song-craft invigorated by unexpected execution.

Their debut EP, Anise & Anisette, represents a confident first step for the group - the songs boldly assert themselves through studied songwriting, with lyrics pruned of superfluous articles. Even so, at first listen, the record comes off as light and inviting, as the group moves easily from sea chanty to well-meaning 60's swagger to a tempest of strings and back-up vocals. The breezy sound and breadth of different styles present on an album lasting barely 20 minutes may be one reason the Washington Post compared the group to recent work by Scotland's Belle & Sebastian.

In fact, the variety of Anise & Anisette begs the question: what would a Bellman Barker LP sound like? The boys are currently hard at work answering that very question, parading through the greater northeast with a hidden stash of new demos set to overload their hard drive even before making it home again.