Audible Musings

Black Hat Brigade – Fathers
June 16, 2009, 6:42 pm
Filed under: Uncategorized

This new EP from the Canadian Black Hat Brigade has been gaining attention, sadly, not because of its musical strength, but because of comparisons to Wolf Parade. To open my thoughts on the EP and the band itself, I would like to say that tBHB is not Wolf Parade. People are quick to jump on this bandwagon because the vocals sound alike. But, I challange you to make a playlist of tBHB “Fathers” and Wolf Parade songs back to back, and I think you will find, as I did, that the comparisons end at the vocals. tBHB is a much more musically interesting band that is able to incorperate elements a more alternative sound, something like Voxtrot or, at points, Caribou, with an always interesting combination of synth and bells, or a looped line that swerves in and out of time.

After looking into the songs on the EP, the song that seems to be gaining the most traction is a tune called Castlevania, and I think it deserves the attention it’s receiving. It begins with an interplay between two synthesizers, and quickly drops into a haunting waltz, complete with swirling electric guitars that paints an image of fall leaves twirling in a cool evening wind as a storm moves in. As the lead vocalist growls, at moments he sounds like Isaac Brock of Modest Mouse. And indeed, the music mirrors, at points, their antiquated style, but maintains its modernity as the song builds into a vast soundscape, complete with arpegiated synth chords, quick guitar strumming and distorted chords filling in the void in the middle. It’s an Indie odyssey that leaves you all but thrashing around in your seat.

The only complaint that I have with the limted amount of music I have found of this band is that at times it can start to sound similar. The formula of: floor tom intro > hi hat 8th notes with reverby guitar high notes and whining vocalist has been done before, and better, I might add. However, the band does have something to their sound that is somewhat dated, and that sometimes makes me feel like I’m walking down a hallway that creaks under my feet or an old wodden ship that is about to fall apart. At the same time, however, their music manages to somehow rest in modernity. Definitely worth checking out.

This is a link to the hypem page with a bunch of their songs. I tried to found downloads or something to link to, but alas, there was nothing.



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