Saturday, 31 August 2013

BROWN BROGUES – ALBUM REVIEW

Brown Brogues  - Triflin’ (Stolen Body Records) 
Brown Brogues - Triflin'

Release Date: 1st October

You know that Galaxy advert where the girl hides chocolate in a shoe box under her sofa to stop her flat mates eating it (seriously, who does that, just move out if you live with people that steal your stuff) and then gets it out to enjoy as a savoured delight? Yeah? Well that's what I've done with the new album from Manchester duo Brown Brogues. I've heard so many good things about these guys that when the album came through I wanted to make sure that I had time put aside to properly enjoy it and get to know it (I also had to wait until I found just the right brown silk dress to lounge around the house in...again, seriously, who!?). 'Triflin'' is a collection of 10 songs that are so raw yet meaty, abrasive yet melodious and punky but bluesy that they should really draw in the majority of discerning music lovers, no matter what their taste.

The atmospheric opening to the album, 'Beach Ghost Face Killah' is an expansive sound as the duo make the most of their limited instrumentation and draw the first of many comparisons with the Black Keys before blasting that out of the water with a furious period of punky riffing. 'Split Disc' sees the double act settle in to their more familiar Garage Rock style with Cobain-esque riffs and ominous sounding vocals booming from the distance. 'A G From The Cradle' has one of the most simple but just as dirty introductions as the tune chugs in to life with scuzzy, low down guitar notes and a floor tom based beat that draws you further in to their seedy world. It is, though, on 'Shake It' that Brown Brogues (Bro Bro to their friends and fans) really hit their stride as they create the kind of tune that Elvis, Buddy Holly and Johnny Cash would, you hope, be knocking out in Heaven's great rehearsal space in the sky. A real 50s swagger blends perfectly with dirty guitars and a simple but driving rhythm to carry the weight of the dual vocals.

There's a sinister side to Brown Brogues as well though (as there should be) and this is perfectly demonstrated on the determinedly moody 'I Kill' which has omnipresent hand claps that give the record a slightly cultish feel...in a good way. 'Beef Teef' (apart from being a great song title) sounds like something Pink Floyd rejected before the final cut of 'Darkside of the Moon' was decided upon, purely as it was too punchy and direct to fit in with their oeuvre. 'Cryin'' harks back to that 50s style of song writing but mixed in with a more 90s slacker way of playing that makes it incredibly easy for even the most socially inept of us to move our knees in time to the music at the back of a gig. The buzzsaw guitar that heralds the arrival of 'Loving Mouthful of Choke' tells you this is going to be something fierce and, sure enough, it's a post-Glam Rock fuzzbox of a song that never stops coming at you like a serial killer relentlessly stalking teenage girls in an American cornfield. By comparison, the guitars at the start of 'Gimme A Reason' are like a sexy car engine revving at the start of a drag race and although the initial power isn't translated to the rest of the song (the drums just seem a bit flat) there is never any danger of this car stalling. As we come to the last track of this 26 minute nitro-fuelled hell ride, 'Laser Beast' wakes from its slumber in a swirling haze before hammering on the door and bursting through in a panicked frenzy. The urgency and energy of this song suggests that there is more to come from Brown Brogues, much more and with such a strong starting point that can only be a good thing. What's even more exciting is that these guys are doing a national tour soon and the shows are set to be pretty mental so get yourself out there and get yourself Brown Brogued. It's a thing.


Live Dates:

11th October – The Green Room, Stockton
12th October – Instore at Sound It Out (Day) and Henry’s (Evening), Edinburgh
18th October – The Bowery, Sheffield (Free Entry)
19th October – Cold Rice Studio Party, Birmingham
23rd October – The Castle, Manchester
24th October – The Lock Tavern, Camden (Free Entry)
25th October – The Royal Oak, Bath
26th October – Tiki Bar & Grill, Plymouth
1st November – Teenage Kicks Festival, Southampton (Under 18s)

2nd November – Oxfam Records In store (Day) and Lennon’s (Evening), Southampton

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