While most contemporary artists set aim at sonic revolution by tapping into the delights of alternative cultures and long-past musical memes, few are attempting to purely renew the more recent feats of their peers. Brother, a four piece out of Slough, England, doesn't pride itself in the innovative tactics of modern day rock. They've created themselves a subgenre by inserting their 2011 edge into a popular, 90s movement. Liam Gallagher lashed out about the rising, "gritpop" phenomena, calling Brother "little posh boys with tattoos." But we caught up with Brother frontman, Lee Newell, who explained to us the assumed, and surprising authorities over Brother's sensational noise.
Brother gained popularity when BBC's DJ Zane Lowe played their demo. They quickly found a fan in Geffen Records, who almost immediately signed the group. This was followed by Brother's UK tour with indie, hip-hop artist Mike Skinner, known as the leader of The Streets. Now partnered with producer Stephen Street, who ironically produced the work of their heroes Blur and The Smiths, Brother is set to release their debut full-length, Famous First Words. The albums title may be related to the bands hyped-about declaration that they are the "future of music".
Brother's reinterpretation of Britpop, which is being described as "gritpop", is outwardly rough and raw. Newell explains, "It was an answer to people suggesting we were Britpop revivalists. We're not trying to revive anything, well, other than guitar music. You can take it literally, but really it's just a bit of fun. If we were going to be pigeonholed, we wanted it to be on our terms."
Where Liam and Noel kept their aggression behind the curtain, Brother wears their "grit" on their tattooed sleeves. Imagine if the Gallaghers had spent a month locked in a tattoo parlor. They'd depart from this therapeutic experience bruised, dirty, and covered in ink. Brother is both physically and musically an enlightened Oasis. They follow the classic guidelines of British song structure, but they won't let it saturate their sound.
"We bonded over 90s music but that isn't the be-all and end-all. Recently we've been listening to Tame Impala, Everything Everything, the new Cage The Elephant. We would never be foolish enough to invest ourselves completely into a genre. That's why we created our own. Plus most of the Britpop bands were snoop doggy dogshit," said Newell.
Though Brother is often to compared to their Britpop predecessors, they condemn the affiliation. They claim that their influence lay in the hands of bands like Blur, Stone Roses, and The Smiths. We were a bit surprised that Morrissey played a role in their creations, but Newell enlightened, "Not necessarily sonically, but lyrically and the way he conducts himself. Bona Drag is one of my favourites. It's B-Sides and unused tracks but it has some of his best work. The way he can articulate a huge amount of feeling and realism in just one verse is why he is the last living icon. He invited us to go on tour with him later this year, I don't know what will happen."
Famous First Words is scheduled to release July 4. Below, you can check out a video of Brother demonstrating their guerrilla performing tactics as they jam the album's first single, "Darling Buds Of May", outside of the Slough railway station. We won't be surprised when these UK, rock commandos seize fans worldwide following their release and enormous tour.