To me it seems like the worst thing any artist from any genre can do to completely ruin their career or at least severely hinder it is by trying to publish or show their work off at an early stage, an unpolished stage. One could argue that these stages differ depending on the person and their amount of talent or lack thereof.
Early reviews and judgments of works that have not had a proper amount of time to be re-worked or that have been left to fester unforgotten until they are picked up and polished off and suddenly looked at anew, can be terribly crushing and could cause self-doubt to hinder one for the rest of their perhaps short-lived career.
The Columbus Ohio brothers Luke and Matt Johnson, who record under the name Silvis along with drummer Tucker Mindrum and saxophonist Chuck Worthy took a long time working on their songs which make up their debut EP Little Brothers, an album which owes some pretty immense credit to Paul Simon’s Graceland and the Vampire Weekend self-titled composite.
And these references are simply that, reference points to point the listener into the direction that the band is trying to go. Essentially Little Brothers is its own record, its own entity, that all these years later has simply just drawn from the same well of influences that Simon and Vampire Weekend drew from so many years ago.
The thing that keeps Little Brothers from sounding too much like a rip-off record is the subtle influence of latter day pop punk music which is especially noticeable in Luke’s vocals and guitars as well as in Matt’s taut bass lines.
This mixture goes back and forth from the pop to the punk. The opening track “Us into Gold” is all about the pop aspect here with its bubblegum, radio-ready melody and vocals; its only serious claim to sounding anything like the previously aforementioned artists is the jazzy guitar riffs.
Next up “On My Way,” comes closer to sounding Simonesque but perhaps only due to the saxophone and the starts and stops, but still holds its own as an original song. However when they want to sound like Graceland fans, which they do best on the horn-heavy closer “Escape” they certainly make sure to inflect a bit nice bit of pop-punk into the mix.
The thing which excites me most about Silvus’s Little Brothers is that it shows how well the band are able to master a sound and a genre with such ease. My thinking is that if they can do this with someone else’s musical stylings, that I can’t wait to hear what they come up with of their own accord.
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