25th June 2024 0 By Jon Deaux
 Manchester’s leading purveyors of groove laden, stoner/doom metal, Barbarian Hermit recently announced their return with new album ‘Mean Sugar’, released on 2nd August (APF Records). 
Written over a 3 year period ‘Mean Sugar’ is a cathartic creation, set against a back-drop that has seen people endure global pandemic, endless political turmoil, a cost of living crisis and war. During these times often the best coping mechanism is to go into a room with your friends and focus your energy on playing some very heavy and loud music. It also may just be the heaviest ever tribute to Northern life. Frontman Simon Scarlett comments on the video for the latest single and the album’s title track,
“Mean Sugar is about growing up in a northern town. It comes across as boastful and full of bravado, but in reality it’s precarious and delicate. In the music video, I’ve blended local scenes shot over the last couple of months, aswell as snippets from Barbarian Hermit outings. Some of the other music videos we’ve done have been gregarious and fun, often using green screen. With the Mean Sugar video I wanted to create something to contrast those, no green screen, straight footage, but I didn’t want to lose the trippy visual aesthetic. Still striking, very local and relevant to us as a band, I hope this video gives viewers another glimpse what is being Barbarian Hermit.”
Recorded by Joe Clayton at No Studio and mastered by Chris Fielding (Foel Studios), the album sees the return of original vocalist Simon Scarlett who helped craft the band’s debut ‘One’ EP, originally released in 2016 (and reissued on APF Records in 2021). 
Simon rejoining during lockdown in 2020 is marked as a real turning point for the band with guitarist Adam Robertshaw stating, “It’s been an incredible journey, working together to create this new album. Long-time fans will recognize his trademark bellow from the EP ‘One’ he recorded with us back in the day, which was recorded in a very rough, DIY fashion. While ‘One’ certainly isn’t without its charm, we can’t wait for folk to hear what he can do when given a proper studio to work in.”
Simon adds, “This new album, “Mean Sugar” picks up where we left off in 2016, each track is a journey, it’s all got doom and stoner vibes, but it’s still heavy and full of stonking riffs, some bits are challenging and uneasy, but we kept in the groove. 
I hope that when people hear this album, they’ll hear the energy of five, working northern men, in a way they’ve never heard before. We wanted to write something earnest and sincere to all our diverse musical tastes but also side-steps what our peers in doom, stoner, and sludge acts are doing so well. We didn’t want any obvious comparison that could be made with other bands.”
Since the release of their debut album ‘Solitude And Savagery’ in 2018 the band has gone on to perform at the likes of Bloodstock Festival twice, Doomlines, and Riffolution Festival, as well as playing alongside Green Lung, Crowbar, PIJN, Boss Keloid, and Raging Speedhorn.
Barbarian Hermit will host their album launch show at Manchester’s, Rebellion on 3rd August with support from Under, Bodach, and Shred Dibnah.
‘Mean Sugar’ is released on 2nd August on CD and limited edition splatter vinyl as well as digitally. Pre-order now:

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