Brawlers is the new punk rock baby from members of the legendary Dinosaur Pile Up, as well as Castrovalva and Leftover Crack. Although I’ve only heard a handful of Dinosaur Pile Up songs (and none from the other 2 bands) I am aware of their contribution to music, so listening to this latest project should be an interesting one. This band are on the edge of something: getting reviewed in Kerrang and a band of the week feature in Rock Sound, and so now is definitely the time to see what this band has to offer.
Sitting on the rock side of punk, the Green Day side of rock, or on the punk’y side of Indie (whichever’s easier to imagine), Brawlers are a ballsy mash of fast paced guitar music designed for the live circuit. Lyrically and vocally it clearly draws on the punk rock spirit – the song “Instagram Famous” rightfully challenging the internet generation’s narcissism – whilst the guitars have a pop punk and a heavy-indie feel to them that is the musical equivalent of getting a bit too rowdy at a party after too many beers. There is a dirtiness to this music that reflects the ‘fuck it’ attitude the band are obviously embracing (the band’s latest EP and Twitter biog reads “I am a worthless piece of shit”). After playing music for so long and having a certain amount of success with it, I can understand the direction the band are coming from – but whether this will pay off is yet to be seen.
I’m not normally a fan of punk rock music – pop punk bands like New Found Glory and a handful of Green Day songs being as far as I normally venture – but there is something in here that is exciting and energising. This band very much remind me of the few Dinosaur Pile Up songs I’ve heard, as well as the mayhem that came out of early Biffy Clyro, and a lot of Green Day; old and new. In fact the song ‘No Sweat’ is scarily similar Green Day’s “Do You Know Your Enemy”, which I’m not sure is a good thing.
Brawlers have been receiving some mixed reviews since coming into the limelight. Kerrang were fairly “so-so” about them, whilst Rock Sound clearly loved them, and I think this reflects fairly well how I think this band will go down in the future. This band does offer something interesting, and there is definitely a lot of talent bubbling around, but for men with such pedigree, the music falls just a bit short. Sure this is their debut EP and they will only get better from here, but they’ve got a tough fight ahead of them – which I’m sure they’ll take on – if they want to truly stand out.