Matt Stevens (guitars/vocals), Matt Corsak (bass) and Dave Corsak (drums) are The Brown. Their recent release We Got You is the kind of rock album that gets down in the trenches and gets covered in dirt and grime. Not unlike early albums from The Stooges, Sonic Youth, Liars to name a few; this is the type of music that feels like a cathartic release of pent-up emotion. The lyrics aren’t as important as the delivery and every snare hit doesn’t need to be snapped to the grid in pro tools.
Recently when Mike Watt from the Minutemen was speaking with Marc Maron on his WTF podcast he was explaining that punk rock was more or less just doing something different than the other guy. If that’s the definition then The Brown is punk rock. Although you can find hints of many other bands that came before, The Brown doesn’t seem to give a hoot what you think. They deliver their songs with passion and with an immediate sense of “embrace us or get out of the way.”
For those of you who prefer pristine vocals where every word is perfectly articulated you probably will have some issues with Stevens’ vocals. On the same token you are missing the whole point of why Stevens is even singing. I for one didn’t need much warming up to his vocal style but if you do I encourage you to not dismiss it within the first song. Like the entire concept of shoegaze it usually takes some time to seep in.
The album opens with “Insincere” which starts off sounding somewhere between Thurston Moore's guitar playing and every other Minuteman song. You are greeted with jagged guitar riffs, dissonance and plenty of rocking out. The band is dynamic and Stevens kills with a stellar vocal performance.
On “Hell Hill” the band is able to build an ominous, atmosphere and then jump into a power chord led chorus. Stevens’ flaying vocals drip with yearning emotion as the band backs him up.
The band continues to slay with “Still Not Fine,” “Harlem” and “Watch Out.” They close with the exceptional “Pretty” which solidified my love for this band. In an age where the mainstream embraces the slick production of bands like Daft Punk and Phoenix, We Got You feels undeniably fresh. Put down your napkin and let the grease drip from your fingers.
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