Self Defense Family – “When The Barn Caves In” EP Review

Posted: by Sean Gonzalez

Self Defense Family is a cult band. Not only are they loved by a secret amount of esoteric individuals, but their music could be leading an ominous group chant of frustrated day to day individuals. What I mean is, the way they bring their songs to life is through harsh and straining yells that beg people to get involved and really feel the emotional pit of vocalist Patrick Kindlon. He and his group of turmoil ridden band have brought to life another couple of songs for people begging for help but not knowing where to turn. When The Barn Caves In could also potentially be titled When You Cave In and it would have the same effect.

I was really struck by the lyrics of “Alan.” The song is about struggling with anxiety and allowing yourself to live by it’s code – not yours – when in a new or threatening situation. In Kindlon’s rather blunt style, “A frog in my throat crawls slowly north and speaks on my behalf.” The imagery wasn’t overly hyperbolic and I could feel my own throat start to close and become short of breath thinking of the same situation. This is all being delivered over a rather discordant and twangy chord structure. It’s dark and blacking out any sense of harmony, much like what the destructive internal monologue is trying to do. “When The Barn Caves In” is a bit lighter, possessing a rather airy and hypnotizing guitar progression backdropped with a simple rhythm section. Kindlon is louder than everything here, beating home the shouts between a heavy hearted melody of, “I have no push and control.” It’s honest and effective. As the song comes to it’s final section it is vivid and bouncy. I rather enjoy the artwork knuckle writing, because it’s a biting question. Say you beat your inner issues, then what? 

When The Barn Caves In is yet again a standard and gripping release from a rather non-stop band. The amount of creative intellect that Self Defense Family spew out every year is astounding, and every time I am just as thrilled to dive into whatever they do next. 

Score: 7.3/10