The Brute Chorus – The Brute Chorus 19/10/2009

October 27, 2009 by  

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It seems like an eternity since we first heard of London’s the Brute Chorus and there cryptic quiff-toting rockabilly. Their beguiling concoction of bluegrass and surf injected with Steel’s enigmatic live performances gave this band the endearing quality of sitting outside of the indie clique and yet still able to produce the odd hit. Having packed their début with all of their previous singles it may seem a little familiar to some, but more importantly they’ve tried to leave in all the sweat and energy that made their live shows so fun – all that’s missing is a few Cowboy neck ties and the ostentatious moustaches.

Quite literally recorded live (we was there to witness it) earlier this year in The Roundhouse,Camden, the album benefits from an immediacy and level of tension only a live record can bring. Leaving in hand claps between songs and the odd the mistake, notably on the lead up to the ‘Ransom’, reaffirms the atmosphere of a live recording, but does little to enhance the record. It’s hard to judge whether recording the album in a studio would have been a better idea as there is no studio original to compare to, but it seems to be a case of recording quality versus atmosphere.

That aside The Brute Chorus’ range of influences and lyrical genre-bending is commendable and at times truly engrossing. The folksy tale ‘She Was Always Coo’l and the seemingly banal narrative of ‘Lets Grow Fins’, find the Brute Chorus at their jovial best, mixing tales of Greek mythology with achingly cool females clad in sunglasses over a bed of razor sharp guitars and pounding beats. The sombre moments are few and far between, and usually find the band searching for a level of sincerity and perhaps maturity that the other songs lack.

Far from the finished article, The Brute Chorus’ début finds them still grappling with their own explosive rockabilly leanings and the desire to produce some seriously touching moments, but it’s still a lot of fun.

[rating:3.5]

By Chris Cummins


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