I listen to a ton of music. Much of it is relatively new music culled from the vast array of let’s call it the “indie rock” genre. Sometimes it’s by choice and other times it’s just business. The thing I have begun to notice about many newer bands today is that they definitely draw heavily on genres, which they weren’t even alive to hear during its heyday. Psychedelic rock seems to be a big one these days, as well as ‘80s synth pop and ‘60s jangle pop. It’s rare that anyone plays good old-fashioned rock n’ roll anymore. Then again these days the term “rock n’ roll” to me at least sometime sounds just as silly a genre name as “slacker-pop.”
Bearing all this in mind, imagine my excitement when I heard the first blistering blues rock chords of “I'm Gonna Make It” the opening track of the eponymous EP The Younger Brothers by San Diego rock n’ roll trio The Younger Brothers cutting through my speakers. I said to myself no matter what the final outcome of this little four-song EP is, at least they know how to open a fucking album. “I’m Gonna Make It” is a tongue in cheek ditty about someone who is trying too hard to “make it” in the music business.
And though the ideas may seem a little cliché, the opening lines “More worried about getting famous/Than singing songs you believe” are definitely right on target and so direct. Bassist and lead singer Willis Farnsworth’s vocals have that scrappy sandpaper punk feel to them, and they’re complemented by drummer Steven Moak’s backing vocals and guitarist Jeff Starkey’s shredding guitar riffs.
In contrast “O' Brother” has nuances of an Americana jam band. It rambles and ambles with an alt country twang but it reminded me of a cross between late ‘90s pop rock and something plucked from the more mainstream Grateful Dead catalogue.
“Diggin'” has that same ‘90s rock vibe coupled with jam band aesthetics and also incorporates a whistle solo along with ‘80s hair metal guitar solos. The changes just didn’t keep the momentum flowing. However the straight up rocker “Red Shoes,” which plays around with jam band choruses, and heavy metal riffs and beats, provides a pretty raucous bookend to The Younger Brothers EP.
The Younger Brothers are still young and have a lot to learn about honing in on their desired sound. They should spend a little more time listening to their older brothers’ bands. This isn’t by any means a jab, just a piece of advice from another guy who just happens to have learned everything he knows from his older brother.
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