Long Time Coming But Brothers Of The Sonic Cloth's Debut Is Worth Wait
The debut LP from Seattle powerhouse trio Brothers Of The Sonic Cloth has been a long time coming since cult grunge icon Tad Doyle joined forces with Peggy Doyle and the Annunkai drummer Dave French in 2007, however the finished result is a reminder of how much truth and honesty a veteran like Tad puts into music. And the truth is rarely pretty.
While Tad is credited for his involvement in the Seattle grunge explosion of the 1990’s with his eponymous band, Brothers Of The Sonic Cloth is a much further advancement on the metal roots that fuelled the likes of Inhaler and revolves around some of the bleakest and most crushing riffs to come from the North West of America, more on par with Yob and labelmates Neurosis than Mudhoney or Soundgarden.
From opener "Lava", the tone and principles of the album are set as the song immerses listeners in a greyscale dystopia, moving at an uncomfortably slow pace. It feels hellish, but it’s also real, and in turn fascinating. And when songs like "Empire of Dust" and "Los Manos Ponderosa" use the lethargic rhythms to summon hypnotic melodies for listeners to lose themselves in before dumping them into an upheaval of crunching riffs, where each hit of the bass drum makes the song feel heavier, how could you possibly feel the need for things to speed up?
Perhaps one of the most striking features of the album is Tad’s vocals and how sinister they feel. There’s no doubt he’s always been a great vocalist, but on here, his low guttural screams are up there with Barney Greenway and the master Scott Kelly in their ferocity, however tracks like "I Am" reveal this style can be used to craft anthemic melodies, regardless of how dissonant the lyrics may be.
In eight tracks, Brothers of the Sonic Cloth use their self-titled debut to reveal each member’s rugged performances through harsh soundscapes with crushing riffs and brutal vocals that naturally flows together to create a sonic eruption of metal at its bleakest. Definitely worth the wait.
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Words by Andrew Davidson