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Middle Brother - Middle Brother
Mar 08, 2011
Total plays:
104 times
Why do we like this?
Ahh, the supergroup. That strange phenomenon when a group of musician friends from separate bands come together to play tunes that aren't quite the same as their normal, respective styles, but within the same family. Their name choices are questionable (see: Monsters of Folk) and their tunes decent (see: Traveling Wilbury's), but more often than not they're better off in their own bands.

Middle Brother is a supergroup of this basic profile, made up of the frontmen of indie folk rock groups Delta Spirit, Deer Tick, and Dawes. While I'm a fan of these groups individually, Middle Brother strikes me as a supergroup that actually manages to be greater than the sum of its parts. Maybe it's because John J. McCauley III (of Deer Tick), Taylor Goldsmith (of Dawes), and Matt Vasquez (of Delta Spirit) are all such charismatic performers individually, and yet their egos complement each other rather than clash.

Their eponymous debut album features Americana folk rock of the best sort - tunes that rollick and soar with driving guitars, pounding keys and excellent vocal harmonies. At a recent show at the Bowery Ballroom, I couldn't help making a mental comparison to Crosby, Stills, and Nash - younger, sloppier, and partying harder - but the musical skill is evident under all the fun (and CSN is nothing if not the ultimate supergroup).

Middle Brother plays like a 1970s basement band with infinitely more skill and better equipment than the rest of their drinking and smoking brethren. As such, their album is a party to listen to. From a sweet-sounding opener that muses on loud neighbor sex and a crush on a bartender to rowdy "Middle Brother" (the track), it's rootsy, folky indie rock at its best. These boys are having a hell of a time playing together, and it's hard to not want to join in on the fun.
Delta Spirit - California
Save (793)
Dawes - From A Window Seat
Save (355)
Deer Tick - The Rock
Save (118)
The Replacements - Waitress In The Sky (Deer Tick Cover)
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