When a band lists themselves under the genre of gospel, it does not automatically come to mind that they may be fusing this genre with blues, rock, and punk. Brother O’ Brother, a band that emerged in 2013, makes the combination seem only natural with the release of their second and most recent self-titled album.
When listening to the album’s first track, ‘Without Love’, as well as the album’s fifth track, ‘Means to be a Woman’, it becomes very clear that The White Stripes and The Black Keys were large influences of theirs. The sound of both the guitar and the vocals go back to the bare essence of blues. The sound of the instruments involved are not overwhelming, as the guitar and drums, along with the vocals, are primarily used. Although they have so few instruments, they still manage to sound both loud and simple at the same time.
As the album continues, hints of classic punk and 1970s soul music are added to the blues sound present throughout each track. The vocals featured in each and every song are powerful, with a wide range. In fact, for a large portion of the album, the voice of singer Chris Banta, though slightly deeper, could be compared to that of Jack White. In addition, there is such a large variety of sounds featured on this one album. Despite this, the listener is spared confusion as the messages conveyed through each song fit together seamlessly.
Though the messages behind each song originate from the band’s religious beliefs, the lyrics can be applied to almost anyone, regardless of religion. You definitely do not have to be religious at all to be able to enjoy this EP.
If you are a fan of blues and rock, or if you are looking for a band with a unique sound, Brother O’ Brother will be sure to reel you in with their scratchy guitar and vocals, and keep you hooked with their ocean-deep lyrics. Listen to their album here.
Written by Franca G. Mignacca