Murder in the Red Barn


Sometimes, we have to admit we’re part of a problem. As an “outlet,” sometimes we’re keen to give readers the kind of content they want – the kind they are familiar with, more specifically. For instance, when it comes to the 90’s proto-math glory of noise rock, no-wave, and slowcore, you know we’re going to talk about bands like Slint, June of 44, Drill for Absentee… you know the ones.

And for the most part, we don’t feel criminal for it. It’s still good music, and running a blog is hard these days – that being said, sometimes we really should be more proactive in our digging of the proverbial crates. Today, we are reminded of this big time by Dipterid Records, who just re-released Murder in the Red Barn‘s debut EP and their LP Songs of Discontinuity on beautiful vinyl.

Milwaukee’s Murder in the Red Barn came from the ashes of Tintoretto, who are ALSO re-releasing their debut today, but we’ll get to that – first, let’s reacquainted with Murder in the Red Barn and their dizzyingly discordant jams below:

Here’s a perfectly detailed account of the band’s history courtesy of Dipterid Records:

“Around the turn of the century, Milwaukee recording artists Tintoretto were about to lose one of their guitarists to marriage promises. The hunt was on for a new guitarist, with plenty of suggestions being batted and offered. One such suggestion was Tintoretto “super-fan” Josh Backes, formerly of Missouri, now living in Chicago, Ill. Josh was contacted by the band, and a meet-and-jam session was planned. Josh was accepted and joined Tintoretto in late 1999, moving to Waukesha, Wisconsin, with his brother, Ike Backes. Tintoretto would fold shortly after, with the band morphing into a project with all members of Tintoretto and Nathan Lilly of Akarso. This band, tentatively titled “5 Dudes”, wrote 4 songs and then disbanded into 3 separate bands: William joining the then already active Hero of A Hundred Fights, Shane, Bill, and Nathan starting Call Me Lightning, and Josh, with his brother Ike, starting Murder in the Red Barn.

After the release of their 2001 full-length “Get In Before The Rain” on 404 Records, William Zientara (Tintoretto, Hero Of 100 Fights) became a welcomed addition to the Murder In The Red Barn camp. The addition of Zientara marked a shift from the band’s previously mysterious and brooding sound to crafting shorter, more aggressive, discordant, and disjointed songs. After extensive touring, the band headed to Chicago to record three new songs and a rearrangement of “Cutthroats” with engineer Mike Lust. Ed Walters Records originally released these four tunes and one song from a live radio performance on CD. With the EP under their belts and the subtraction of the sax player, Murder would refine their sound and tighten up their compositions with an eye toward a cohesive tale wrapped around the songs. The tale of an accidental time traveler in a strange future was the main focus of the upcoming full-length, driven by ever-angrier guitars and booming rhythm juxtaposed with intricacies that spun the narrative. Murder was joined by John Congleton, again at Uber Studios to bring this album to life.

After Murder’s final tour, Murder disbanded, never releasing the album. Then, in 2019, Peter Woods of FTAM Records released a limited tape of the album as a split with Guns Blazing, Josh Backes’s side project at the time. Only a hundred or so copies of this were released. In 2023, Kevin Curty of Dipterid Records approached the band with interest in releasing this album and the EP with his vision to keep these songs alive. Artwork that was devised and created by Alex Beals for the subsequent band after MITRB, Fuiguirnet, was utilized for this release, depicting various alien races and the main ship of the crew.”

Having just received both of Dipterid’s pressings of the records in the mail (thanks Kevin!), let us assure you that not only is the sound quality excellent, but the feel and look of the packaging, artwork, gatefold, etc. really go the extra mile. We’ll be sharing some pics on social media shortly, and highly recommend picking up a copy while they are available. Check them out on Bandcamp here.

If you’re looking for some extra homework, check out the band we mentioned above that Murder in the Red Barn was spawned, Tintoretto, over here. We don’t know if it’s a coincidence that they’re both coming out on the same day or if it’s a carefully planned resurgence of Milwaukee’s best, but either way we’re happy to get the word out.