Barabbas was a notorious prisoner in the New Testament, who was released by Pontius Pilate, the Roman governor of Judea, at the request of the crowd instead of Jesus Christ. According to the Gospel of Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John, Pilate offered the crowd the choice to release either Jesus or Barabbas, and the crowd chose to release Barabbas. The name “Barabbas” means “son of the father” in Aramaic and is sometimes seen as a symbol of the rebellious and lawless element in society.
In that context, BARABBAS, DU FÖRTAPPADE might mean that he has lost an opportunity or a valuable possession, or on the other hand, has missed the chance to receive salvation and redemption offered by Jesus. We’ll solve this puzzle in our future interview with the band, but either way, what BARABBAS, DU FÖRTAPPADE means for sure, is unquestionable, hearty, emotional screamo force that has unveiled its first full lengt hoffering earlier this year. To honor “Discussions on Existentialism”, we have teamed up with the band to give you a wider presentation of each of the new songs, and their top early 2023 creamo releases worth a check!
The album is out now on red vinyl by Dingleberry Records (DE), No Heroes Records (DE), Jean Scene Creamers (US), Entes Anomicos (DE), Fresh Outbreak Records (IT), Pasidaryk Pats Records (LT) and Salto Mortale Music (SK).
After some years of touring, writing, recording and a longer pandemic related pause, Barabbas, du förtappade from Sweden are releasing their debut full length record Discussions on Existentialism. The record makes clear nods to the influences found on the band’s earlier outputs debut EP Discourse (2017) and split release with German Кальк [Kalk] (2020) – rawer aesthetics of screamo around year 2000. However, Discussions on Existentialism also show the band’s progress, involving more complex melodies and songwriting while retaining the recurrent bursts of emoviolence and noise rock found in previous releases.
The lyrics on the record have expanded from the regular use of English to featuring songs in Swedish and Russian. Discussions on Existentialism contains themes of alienation in cities of capitalism, death, political apathy and exhausting communications and relationships. The music matches the screamed and often high-pitched vocals by being rooted in screamo, emoviolence, post-rock, noise rock and hardcore punk.
The record was recorded at Hermitage Studios in Stockholm, Sweden during December 2021. It was mixed and mastered by Steve Roche at Permanent Hearing Damage studio (Off Minor, Neil Perry, Massa Nera, Capacities). Artwork and design by Alex Mages (@alexmages.artwork).
There is a generic notion that emo related music is mostly focused on individual experiences, personal subjects, feelings and so on. Emo (emocore, screamo and other micro subgenres) has always been associated with conveying emotions first and foremost. However, everybody that has been more careful in listening to bands playing emo, screamo and similar genres would know that these bands have also quite often expressed politically charged opinions through their songs.
The new BARABBAS, DU FÖRTAPPADE record, Discussions on Existentialism, can roughly be divided into two parts. One part collects songs that are rooted in more personal experiences. They are about relationships, feeling inadequate, trying to communicate and failure. The other part of Discussions on Existentialism on the other hand contain tracks that express frustrations around everyday life in cities of today.
These tracks are deeply political.
Track by track commentary by BARABBAS, DU FÖRTAPPADE
Dim the Lights
We can no longer sleep because the fun is not enough. The days just keep on going but the night comes way too fast. Make the light dim, but your eyes still stare. We can no longer sleep because there’s too much life in spare.
What is it that we cannot understand? That we never wanted. Isn’t it torture? The essence is burdened to all. We can no longer sleep because there’s too much life in spare.
While talking about a personal experience of an inadequate daily life, this track brings up that everyday life is not viewed as something political. However, why do we so often feel unsatisfied at the end of the day? It cannot be limited to the fact that one may be sad or that one may not have achieved what was wanted. There are more factors than that that affect our feeling of completeness. Might it be an alienation from ourselves as creative and fun craving beings to being defined by our productivity?
Liquidise your prestige, piss it out down the drain. It will always stay that way. Drink it, drink it and you’re poisoned with pride.
Spit it out, embrace the differences in their similitude.
We base quite a lot of our identity on the administrative geographical units – states/countries – to which we belong. It’s not necessarily something negative but it always needs to be monitored so that it does not cross a moment where it spirals out of control. It’s easy to look at Russia of today as an example for this, but there are so many more. Get it out of your system, piss it out down the drain!
Play it Out in the Real
We will change when we find our critique; when the language we speak reflects our angst; when our inner parts are parts of ourselves; when we’ve sold every commodity that replaces the image of ourselves.
Change comes when critique has been played out in the real, not when reformers have realised their ideas.
The language we speak is devoid of critique. It’s full of paper, inequality and shit. And we can’t see it, can we?
During the last two decades (at least), there have been so few attempts at phrasing alternatives to the current political hegemony. Like, we don’t actually know how and what to say, what words to use, to explain what our problems are and the reason behind them. Quite often, we don’t have any language to use and it’s just plain hard to phrase out our own “utopia”. It is in our current language that the “end of history” has happened. Screw that, it’s not true.
The Performative Power of the Ideological Illusion
Building after building, a construction site in constant flow over the spatial surroundings. What does it give to me? Can you build me a life worth walking through alienated dying streets? I want to know the meaning behind the spaces that don’t represent anything to me but control, hierarchy and waste.
I think it’s a trap that we are built into. Living space is bureaucracy and we are its dead weight. What does it give to me? Can you build me a life worth walking through alienated dying streets? Illusion.
This song is based on an experience of everyday life in our cities, changed and built by global capitalism. We still live there but our right to the cities is non-existent.
A French philosopher and Marxist Henri Lefebvre, although very hard to read and kind of pretentious to name drop (sorry), talked about an existence of three ways to describe a physical space – the way the planners planned and built it, the way we think of it in our minds and the way we actually use it. It would be nice to feel that the places we spend time in answer back to us, forming after our usage rather than being dead. The planners have often failed to make it nice while capitalism has made it hard to believe that those spaces can be something else than consumption and ugliness.
Representations of Space
Zone in, zone out. Red lights to red lines. My city is depicted as possibilities of private profit. Hopes of an exciting everyday life diminished to boredom. Anxiety as everydayness.
Poverty around the streets, solved by state control. State control owned by money making. What is depicted as functionality is city life as part of a machine. Hopes of an exciting everyday life diminished to boredom. Anxiety as everydayness.
What the fuck are you right about? Zoom in, zoom out – zone in and zone out. We are separated by red lines between red lights. Zone in, zone out. Outside of this programme’s boundaries, there’s shit in the sewers of an apartment block.
I (Seva – vocalist) explored the same subject as The Performative Power of the Ideological Illusion. The inspiration for this text in particular was from the fact that doing a so-called “housing career” in Stockholm, Sweden was so normalised. It is basically buying an apartment and then after a while selling it with a profit to be able to buy another one, maybe in a “better” neighbourhood with a possibility of increasing the profit even more. At the same time, the city is turning more and more unlivable every year.
Let’s long for a more thrilling life in our living spaces. The state cannot be the only active actor in our streets.
The international screamo scene is bursting with releases and bands and during January 2023 there are already some really solid releases.
BARABBAS, DU FÖRTAPPADE sat down with us to give you their picks for best screamo and post hardcore releases in early 2023. Here’s what we’ve got.
Soastaphrenas – Moirae
Bringing back the memories of German emoviolence from the mid 2000s. So good and ferocious.
Norfair – Norfair
Quite lofi and chaotic, sometimes a bit blackened with a lot of blastbeats. Screamo on the verge to emoviolence but with songs that go on for longer than 1 minute. It takes song writing skills to do that!
Sear – Grief in V Stages
Very heavy with touches of noise rock and metalcore but still maintaining the screamo vibe. The band’s first release?
Catalyst – …
The previous release had plenty of hardcore punk in it. This one is more emo and post-hardcore and still very good.
A split that should say “for fans of screamo” because neither bands’ songs are within that genre completely but play with it enough to feature it in this little list. Abandoncy has that Chat Pile and The Jesus Lizard energy while Norse is kind of post-metallic without losing their noise rock and screamo thing or getting stuck in a repetitive riff.