Alright, picture this. It’s another friday night at your prototypical dive--you know the scene. 80’s wood paneling, scabby pool table, cardboard coasters. Cigarette butts litter the bathroom floors. Bad lighting. Cheap beer and urinal cakes. Two or three dead soldiers on the table already, with room for more. The band moves in, sets up, and launches into a boisterous set. It should be a normal night.
But it isn’t, because the band is Brandy and the Butcher. You don’t know ‘em now, but you’ll know 'em soon. By the first few notes, they have your attention. By the chorus, everyone stares in bewilderment. By the time the first song rolls to an end, accompanied by raucous applause, everyone in the damn room has swiftly come to the same conclusion: this is, by far, the best entertainment this bar has ever seen. Practically leaps and bounds beyond the typical rocker mold. This is exactly how quality rock 'n' roll should make you feel. In a word: invigorated.
To draw you back to the here and now, we slumbering Villagers are honored to premiere Dick Circus, the latest effort from these talented South Carolinians. Fire it up below, and we'll meet ye, as always, on the other side!
Within the first few seconds of opening track "Ballerina," you know what you're in for. Prominent cowbell and a simple-yet-effective rock beat lead the charge, followed by a catchy-ass riff and thick bass, and topped off with one of those classic rock choruses that practically invites a case of the sing-alone earworms. There's a little garage grease and grime, a little sleaze, a little punk, and a whole lotta energy. And "Ballerina" is only the beginning. While the majority of tracks herein follow a fairly similar formula, we get some tasty sonic and aesthetic variety throughout, from the southern rock ballad vibes on, say, "Makin the Scene," to the punk-edged "Broken Bones" or "Technicolor mandy," to the New York Dolls-esque riff-centric rowdy rockers liberally littered throughout.
Bottom line: I love the glitzy, sleazy, and otherwise gritty appeal of Brandy and the Butcher’s brand. Boot-stomping riffs, hooky choruses, and a healthy dose of swagger are, more often than not, all I need to stay happy, and this crew delivers on, like, every damn track. Just when you think things are starting to let up, they throw a little more gas on the fire with pounding percussion, a frenetic new-wave lick, or a gleeful cry. Vocalist Elizabeth Hale, who fills the space with a punky 'tude, is always around the corner with a high-octane interjection and/or bluesy croon. Her performance, in particular, shines during the choruses, wherein she really seems to pull out all the stops and leap into the fray with a fierce gusto and bite. That said, even without Hale, this outfit is exceedingly proficient in the instrumental department, dropping banger after banger with the confidence of a band who knows what it takes to get the crowd's collective heart-a-pumpin.' Put 'em together and the result is straight fireworks.
As the name suggests, Dick Circus is endlessly fun and brash, both the antithesis of and answer to dull ol' dad rock. Give it a listen above, and nab a copy when it drops tomorrow!
Brandy and the Butcher - Dick Circus will be released Aug. 21st, 2020 from River Monster Records
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We provide thoughtful reviews of music that is heavy, gloomy...and loud enough to wake us from slumber. Written by a highfalutin peasantry.
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