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Brother - New Years Day (Single Review)

Wednesday, 12 January 2011 Written by Katie Territt
Brother - New Years Day (Single Review)

Slough. Not exactly the epicentre of rock ‘n’ roll. Or the hub of “cool”. No, it’s most recent route to fame has been as the home of Wernham Hogg, the fictitious workplace of David Brent and co. in 'The Office'. But wait, all that is about to change with Slough’s newest export, the UK’s “next big thing”, 4-piece indie rock ‘n’ rollers, Brother. It’s been a while since a new band has swanned in and staked their claim on being the new owners of Britain’s indie-rock crown, and I’ve certainly not seen such hype or excitement from the music industry and press since the early days of the Arctic Monkeys.

With an NME front cover already under their belt, sold out shows, and an upcoming support slot with The Streets, you’d be forgiven for thinking that Brother had already released their debut single. If you thought that my friends, you’d be wrong, as debut single, ‘Darling Buds of May’ isn’t actually due for release until the 28th of February…and just look at the build-up already!

ImageIf you’ve signed up to Brother’s mailing list pre-bandwagon, you’ll have already been treated to some free demo downloads such as the fabulously addictive ‘New Years Day’. A stormer of an indie rock tune reminiscent of 90’s Britpop days, ‘New Years Day’ is a perfect introduction to Brother’s sound. An uber catchy chorus wrapped up in some tight riffs, well harmonised vocals, and a band that ultimately scream “old school” 90’s whilst still managing to retain a new fresh perspective.

The band describe their music as “gritpop” which quite frankly is a perfect depiction. A Britpop sound but with a 2011 edge. That’s assuming that Brother are one of the big names of 2011, and with Radio 1’s Zane Lowe already championing them, it looks pretty damn likely. Leonard Newell’s vocals on ‘New Years Day’ have that gritty edge that they obviously strive for, but the harmonies help bring a softer edge, resulting in a perfect combination of the rough and smooth – Brother’s obvious signature sound.

Here’s hoping that when Brother’s debut album finally hits the shelves, they’ve kept that raw sound from these demos, and not moved to over-production which was a downfall in my eyes for the Arctic Monkeys. It’s the excitement of these demos and that rawness that gets people interested and hyped up, so fingers crossed that sound is still evident in the finished product when it’s released.

So what of ‘New Years Day’? Well, it’s a song that has all the swagger of Liam Gallagher at his best, all the hype of Pete Doherty at his worst, and all the “gritpop” guitar you’ll ever need. A classic song, and a classic band in the making. Definitely ones to watch in 2011, and with a huge void left in the British indie-rock scene by Oasis, could Brother be the band to fill it? All I can say is watch this space!


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