Brotherly love – I’m from the city that promotes it, but it isn’t always the easiest thing to live by. My brother and I are 3 years apart, which can be brutal during the teenage years. We had our moments of not getting along, though I’ll feign amnesia when asked if fists were ever raised. 15 years later we are worlds apart in New Zealand and Washington State. Pacific is the gulf between us. So it goes. In music, we’ve had the Gallagher brothers (Oasis), the brothers Gibb (Bee Gees), the Robinson brothers (The Black Crowes), among others. Sibling rivalry or sibling camaraderie? It doesn’t really matter as long as the music inspires. The Barmines are a new band out of Leeds, England composed of 2 sets of siblings. A potentially volatile mix, their debut EP is a masterful debut.
The band is made up of brothers Rob & Liam on vox and guitar and brothers Liam & Andy on drums and bass. The band features a “back to basics” set up and features a mix of Britpop and Rock ‘n Roll that at time borders on heavy metal – a very good mix, in my book. The debut EP was produced by Mike Heaton, drummer with post Britpop favorites, Embrace. The band has swagger with the musical chops to back it up. The band told me that they feel that this is a strong release to introduce the world to their music, and I’d agree. I’d also add that it one of the best EP’s I’ve heard all year, right up there with Secretary’s debut.
The 4 track EP leads off with single Feels Good. The track raises a joyful racket, gleefully bordering on heavy metal as it shakes and shimmers to the chorus “Cause I want to feel good / You know you make me feel good”. 2 1/2 minutes of perfection. Beauty Queen reminds me a bit of mid to present period Arctic Monkeys, in the best possible way. Gleeful abandon permeates this heavy number, sinister riffs complimenting the passionate vocals. How about that guitar solo? Nice one, lads (I’m not British, just pretending). Hey Runner is a mid-tempo rocker that has yet another infectious guitar riff that’ll get stuck in yer head. The track builds atmosphere as it progresses, culminating in an instrumental coda. Dirty Pretty Little Lies ends the EP on a strong note – in fact, this might be my favorite track. Bass is more prominent in the mix with another display of stunning musicianship. This’ll be a nice track for the dance floor (or mosh pit). Vocals have a menacing quality in this track that I really love.
I really can’t say enough kind words about this EP, it is 4 tracks, 10 minutes, and it’ll leave you wanting more. I can’t wait to hear what this band comes up with next. You can follow the band on Facebook and pick up the record on Itunes. It’ll be $4 well spent.
Verdict: Feels so good
For Fans of: Arctic Monkeys, Oasis, Embrace, Ash, Queens of the Stone Age