“Brothers” surprised me right from the off. Just by looking at the album artwork and the lead singer, I was expecting some kind of rock or hardcore band – the stereotypical tesseract shape layered on top of a moody moon… I was completely set up for something rocky. Look at the lead singer as well: he definitely wouldn’t be out of place in a hardcore punk band. In fact his resemblance to the singer from Fights And Fires is scarily similar. But get into the music, and you are confronted with a different kind of beast altogether. Although not exactly new (released August 2013), their self-titled EP is good enough to recommend at least a listen, if not a purchase. With new music apparently on the way, I’d be interested to hear what it sounds like.
Being a drummer, the intro to the first track “I’ll be Fine” instantly grabbed me – the guy’s got some skills. I was definitely going to give all of these tracks a try. In fact, there’s a lot here that grabs me. The songs are nicely paced and varied, their use of harmonies is impactful and very interesting, and their resemblance to Elbow is welcome indeed. To my ears, I heard influences ranging from the sing along choruses of Coldplay, to the atmospheric vocals of Massive Attack, and the subtle complexity of Elbow. They’ve found just the right amount of balance between not over complicating a song, and adding depth to something that could have been quite simple if left to your average musician. The layering and use of chords in “I’m Here” for example are especially pleasant to the ear, as is the dirty jazz piano sound they use. It reminds me of “Late Night” by Foals mixed with Massive Attack.
This band are all about atmosphere. Their Facebook cover photo depicts a gig they must have held in a church – what a great venue for them and their crowd! Their music sounds like an eerie, and haunting version of pop music, similar to the ever-escalating epic sounds of Airbourn Toxic Event’s “Sometime Around Midnight” (their only good song in my opinion). If you’re the kind of person that really enjoys getting in to the meat of lyrics, I’m sure there’s a lot for you to find in this EP.
All of this being said, there is some work to be done. His voice, which is gentle and soothing, is a bit pitchy in places (especially in Heavy Covers) and could do with a bit more power and projection. The composition, although impressive and probably the best thing going from them, is definitely not the best they can do – I’m sure of it. This band has some great ideas, and I would love to see them push it in their next record. There is the potential, but it hasn’t quite been realised yet. The mix could also showcase their talents a bit better.
The EP“Brothers” sits somewhere in the realm of ‘easy listening’ and alternative music that is oh so popular at the moment. Although it is hardly something you’re going to blast to your friends, the quiet complexity of it makes it something that you would definitely consider putting on in a moment of solitude and calm. The slow nature of this music will definitely put some people off – I can’t see this music being radio friendly exactly – but that being said, Brothers sit in a nice little pocket of music that I like to delve in to from time to time. This is music for musicians. This is music for those who are in touch with their feelings and their creative side. This is great music…but I KNOW they can do better.
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