Indiana-based garage rock outfit Brother O’ Brother releases their new album, Skin Walker, via Romanus Records.
Talking about the album, Brother O’ Brother says, “‘Skin Walker’ refers to the Native American legend of shapeshifting humanoids. Often through possession and disguise, few things felt more relevant to the world around us when writing this LP from a cultural sense. Possession via media, personality, hubris, culture, the works. Skin Walker infestation seems to have taken place in the modern world with a zealous grip. More than ever the political realm feels as if it has permeated every last ounce of existence.”
They go on to add, “The writing goals were to write the heaviest garage and psych infused LP we could while communicating our message and story. Discussion of new and emerging A.I. tech, mass surveillance, and big brother, along with political polarization at an all-time fever pitch made the LP cathartic to write. We believe this is our most complete work to date with more production, time, and investment poured in than ever before.”
Made up of Warner Swopes (drums) and Chris Banta (guitar, vocals), Brother O’ Brother pumps out massive waves of sound infused with visceral rock, blues, and hints of gospel. Imagine Jimi Hendrix merging with AC/DC and you’ll have an idea of their sound.
Encompassing 10-tracks, Skin Walker begins with “Prologue to Delirium,” which flows seamlessly into “Elixir,” essentially making one song of two tracks. “Prologue to Delirium” rolls out on swirling layers of tones, followed by ramping up to “Elixir,” seething with growling guitars riding a pushing, blistering rhythm highlighted by Warner’s vicious drums. Chris’ snarling vocals give the lyrics ferocious, defiant energy.
Highlights include “Death By Consumption,” traveling on thick, brawny guitars and rumbling drums, exuding the subterranean momentum of doom metal and the raw dynamism of grungy garage rock. Chris’ vocals reveal the shifting timbres of a hellfire and damnation preacher at a tent revival.
The opening riff of “Who Wants It, Who Gets It” conjures up memories of Black Sabbath, and then segues into muscular guitars and walloping percussion, injecting the tune with edgy viscosity. The title track opens on psychedelic guitars atop a measured beat and then descends into the bowels of Hell on massive, dirty guitars dripping with black, coagulated coloration.
“Specie of Noise” features a roiling guitar intro, followed by moussing up to scorching guitars carried along by a driving rhythm. Hints of wild punk flavors and grimacing vocals infuse the tune with festering oomph.
A personal favorite, “Consumerism Salvo” thrums with primal rock n’ roll, dense and howling with muddy guitars. This track is stripped down to the guts – primeval and searing. Another excellent track, “Birth,” buzzes with rampaging guitars discharging compressed, heaving weight.
With Skin Walker, Brother O’ Brother generates their best album so far, parading their gift for pure, undiluted, atavistic rock.