2018 sees the return of Halifax, NS-based band Brothers, who have readied their latest album, entitled Zebra. It’s been a minute since Adam Bourque, Brandon Campbell, and brothers Taran and Tyler Guest have put out new music, and captured accolades in the 2016 Best of Halifax survey as ‘Best New Band/Artist’. This is an act that has found a niche for themselves, nestling their sound between the rock and hip-hop genres, which is a theme that is well suited to the band’s debut album title Zebra.
The band quite possibly is ahead of their time, due to the cyclical nature of musical currents and styles, as there really hasn’t been a band that has hoisted a torch for a rock/hip-hop hybrid sound for close to two decades. Largely, the bands who occupied this space during the late ’90s and early oughts took a far harder approach to the two genres, and fused an aggressive, mountain dew/monster energy-fueled alt rock sound with a ‘punch you squarely in the face’ appropriated version of hip-hop. The nu-metal sound quickly ran its course, as the saccharine-soaked tidal wave of early 2000s pop music swept those acts away.
When you press play on the debut album from Brothers, it has this interesting fusion of sounds at varying times, sounding quite similar to CBC’s Rich Terfry’s alter-ego Buck 65. At others the vocal tendencies and musical intricacies evoke the sounds of Boston-based Dispatch, and there is almost a sound that harkens back to Nickelback’s debut album Curb. Tracks such as “Get Up”, “Breathing It In”, and “Real World” play as fully-realized jams that will find themselves lodged in your ears for days, and while the album itself is solid, the production at times feels a bit lacking and could stand to be beefed up, as the expansiveness of the recording space is felt. I could see these songs truly shining in a live environment, as Zebra feels tailor-made to get people up and moving on the dance floor.
Zebra drops on March 29th, but the album release party will take place on April 6th, at the Carleton. This will be a show you won’t want to miss, as T. Thomason and Floodland will be performing in support of Brothers’ album release. It will be a great night to hear these tunes played live.