Review: Brothers – When I Was Young EP

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Artist: Brothers
Album: When I Was Young EP
Genre:  Hardcore
Label: Saw Her Ghost Records / Assault Records / Mind Over Matter Records

With roots dating back to the 80’s, the hardcore scene has been down a long and arduous path, that in a sense hasn’t changed much. There is the same struggle to get your band heard and to make a living by speaking through your music, but the actual scene itself has undergone extreme image altercations. Music’s vernacular evolutions on a generation-to-generation basis is inevitable, but with the rise of Hot Topic carbon-copies have turned the elitist hardcore kid’s disheveled look into a fashion parade. The downright truth is, the world has seemed to forget what the hardcore scene was founded on, a group of passionate individuals creating aggressive music that will simply move you and give even the most outcast youth a place to belong. With that said, Michigan based Brothers stand to rekindle the long lost flame that has been carried away by tight jeans and teased hair.

Their debut album, Black Friday received favorable reviews but wasn’t enough to get them the attention they rightfully deserve. They are back once again to tie fans over until their full length drops later this year. Their newest EP, When I Was Young is a quick three tracks that doesn’t even hit the ten-minute mark, but is still able to pack more energy than some bands cant exude in a whole album. The EP kicks off with a cover of the beloved 90’s tune, “The Freshman,” by The Verve Pipe. You typically wouldn’t imagine Brothers being the crowd to cover a alt-rock classic but they definitely put their own unique spin on it and do the song justice. The strikingly light guitar picking is reminiscent of the original but as soon as the vocals come in, the fast-paced hardcore rage takes center stage. The cover is energetic, fun and while mainstream fans may not get it, hardcore supports will rejoice singing along to a song that’s lived through the decades.

The following track, “Numb,” clocks in at just over a minute but is still able to deliver ample amount of sonic rage, frenzied riffs and pounding drums. Vocalist Joel pairs his standard fare, aggressive growls with a heart-felt lyrical approach. “Numb” focuses on a self loathing theme as he screams, “Confused by what I see in the mirror.I donʼt know this man, you’re a stranger.” While “Rock Bottom” follows with the story conclusion, seeing the light of a new day as he passionately declares, “Today Iʼm committing to myself. A promise to never return to those days and Iʼll be damned if Iʼm ever looking back.” The empowering atmosphere transfers perfectly into the emotionally charged music. The track stampedes through multiple tempo changes as a deep base line charge through the length of two minutes.

Brothers bring back what hardcore has been lacking recently; fun, energetic, and passionately driven music. The only downfall is the EP ends just as soon as it begins and leaves you wanting more. Their hooks and grooves refine their rough edges into something catchy that demands your attention. It may be hard to convince “true” hardcore fans that Brothers is worth their time with the countless washed up impersonators dragging the scene down, but if there’s one thing you leave here with, it’s that they are worth every second you have. Do yourself a favor and purchase this EP, better yet, while you’re at it go buy their debut album as well. Trust me, Brothers is one band you’ll want to keep your eyes on.

Score: 9/10
Review written by: Nerissa Judd

James Shotwell

James Shotwell is the founder of Under The Gun Review. He loves writing about music and movies almost as much as he loves his two fat cats. He's also the co-founder of Antique Records and the Marketing Coordinator for Haulix. You should probably follow him on Twitter.

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