Words by Sean Moeller, Illustration by Johnnie Cluney, Recording engineered by Matt Oliver, Mastered by Sam Patlove
From the first second of any Brother song, you're struck by the brass and ballsy style of this young band from Slough, United Kingdom. The lads have put together a snotty, but melodic sound that's the equivalent of a dirty punk kid sitting on the street reading Joyce and yet being a dickhead enough to shout at anyone glancing at him to fuck off. It's a self-assured brand of gritty rock and roll that really does take us to the reason for it in the first place. You wonder how these guys and Tyler, The Creator could get about. They'd have a piss of a time downing pints together and talking shit about all kinds of things. There's nothing so perfect or pristine that it can't be messed with or goaded. They are somewhat merrier pranksters to Tyler's more mean-spirited and off-putting antics, but they might be cut from a similar cloth of those who just don't give two shits about much other than their music. It's great to have such focus. Brother has been generating the kind of talk that you'd hope for as an unproven band. There are notions of immaturity and those of shambolic live shows, but to these ears, all that means is that they're better than most and doing exactly what you'd want from an attitude-filled rock and roll band. They agitate and they entertain, but all of it would be for naught if the songs weren't there and, luckily enough, the makings of those songs are there, ready for the band to finally get a full-length album out somewhere, anywhere, before the chatter passes them by. To start, they have a single, "Darling Buds of May," that's about as good as it gets, riding on some of the similar aesthetics that made us notice Franz Ferdinand and the Arctic Monkeys for the first time a few years ago, but there seems to be more in those three-plus minutes that alludes to a greater grasp and a sound execution of historic British rock. It's not hard to hear the nods to Blur and Oasis, nor is it absurd to think that they'd trade places with either Mick or Keith at Nellcote, circa 1971, in a heartbeat. They already travel with a soul singer for backing vocals and at least a member or two are prone towards wearing gaudy, thick-collared fur coats during live performances. It might just be that the myth, real or created, can carry you, though it can only take you so far if the music isn't there and, fortunately for Brother, it is. They sing about sirens and burning down kitchens, getting into trouble and not giving a damn. They probably ride around at night, piss ass drunk, busting up mailboxes with baseball bats - or at least that's what they'd be doing if they were Americans. They probably find themselves pissing at least a few people off every day. They probably bicker and fight amongst each other and just let it all come out, for better or for worse. So far, we're listening.