It’s long, but if you want a pretty good idea of what to expect from this album, read it!
Dead To Me and the Little Brother EP.
I knew this would happen. Little Brother, with its musical magnificence and it’s incorruptible, honest and heart felt lyrics takes a big step above Cuban Ballerina. 5/5, no bones to pick with it, I can't stop listening to it.
But one thing you must acknowledge is that this is an EP! I’m tired of people whining about how short this is, EP’s are supposed to be short, they aren’t full lengths. At least they released something!
Lyrically - A series of five songs expressing rather deep and monumental messages that suggest the hard times in the world, past hardships and guilt. ex, “we got rhyme and reason to riot, but we’re all too fat to buy it . . .”
Now, Little Brother is most people’s favorite song on the album (as it is mine) and it is profound lyrically as well as musically. Lets just say it seems to be a bit personal yet very evident in expressing the pits of society and what we blindly walk into and pursue, at least thats what I got from it. Some of this song is really hard to decipher, like “cathode rays to entertain the good wage slaves, salvation in the checkout lines, it feeds us to our own demise”. I think cathode rays are streams of negatively charged ions, which would then make sense being expressed in a non scientific way.
Musically - There is a lot of reviews i’ve read that refer the sound to 70’s punk rock, which is pretty accurate but don’t get the idea that this is Teenage Bottlerocket sounding 70’s punk, cause it’s not even close. I don’t listen to much Misfits, but a lot of people say the sound might be influenced by such.
The album has incredibly catchy hooks and unsuspected chord changes that keep you interested. With a rather quick pace throughout the album you are taken a little off guard with Little Brother, a slower and reggae feel to it (it speeds up), but none the less, the most experimental and superior track musically on the record. By the end of the song you’ll have tears in your eyes and you’ll be swaying your body without realizing it.
The overall tone of this album has this “wet” feel to the sound of the guitars (which I prefer) in comparison to the dry “buzzing” tone of Cuban Ballerina (not a bad thing at all). The recording quality of Little Brother is clear and well done, not over done though. The bass lines are catchier, and the drums are commanding. There isn’t a bad song on here.
The lead guitar is top notch, so catchy. Nathan is perfect for this band, by the sound of things.
All the instruments blend perfectly together, you don’t get that preeminent sounding guitar power chord blasting through the album, thats what makes this album so original, everything is put together perfectly and no instrument stands out far above any other instrument.
Vocally - If you listen to Dead To Me you are probably aware of the dueling lead vocals between guitarist Jack Dalrymple and bassist Chicken. The vocals are pretty well split evenly on Little Brother, you still get that smooth slick signature voice of Jack that you can’t help but sing along to. And then you get the strikingly catchy and captivating voice of Chicken, which you also can’t help but sing along to. I think I might know every word on this record. These guys are my favorite vocalists.
Artwork - Couldn’t be better. Drummer Ian Anderson designed the artwork for this album and he could make a living off it! Honestly, this is my favorite artwork i’ve seen, its creative and simply amazing. You must get the vinyl or CD to see this stuff. The lyric page is also a sort of poster (with the CD anyway), it’s black and white covered with incredible artwork suggested by the cover.
So hopefully I was able to give you a fairly accurate idea of what this incredible release is like. If you even remotely like punk rock, you must own this! It will be a punk rock legend in years to come.
Now comes the eager wait for the third release, African Elephants.