2018 has been literally bursting at the seams with cerebral pop that has allowed for a resurgence in neo-psychedelia, ambient and progressive music unlike anything critics or market experts could have anticipated. There’s been such a high volume of new artists to talk about, but none has received as much praise nor attention as Brother Reverend has. Their new full length album The Tables Turn Too Often hits stores this fall as anticipation for its arrival reaches a fever pitch, and I had the great pleasure of previewing its provocatively stylized sonic palate ahead of its highly awaited release.
First off, The Tables Turn Too Often boasts a level of production quality that is nothing short of stunning to experience. Even the slightest of details within the band’s sonic profile are highlighted with immense grandeur, and though most of the songs found here are relatively muted and restrained in comparison to the recent output of their rock n’ roll peers, Brother Reverend make sure to pack every moment with energy as to ensure our constant focus. There’s a carnal, unfiltered edge to the guitar and drum parts that recalls a young Motor City sound, and vocally we never have to dig through the noise to find what our singer is actually crooning.
Brother Reverend’s surreal lyrics have as many intricacies to them as the music does, in a rather surprising twist for a modern rock album. So many bands are content to stack all of their talents on a specific angle of their sound (i.e. killer riffs, confident bass play, singing etc.), and it’s led to an overall lull in creativity within the rock genre in general. That isn’t the case with Brother Reverend; in fact, they go out of their way to avoid coming off one-sided, even if it means adopting a formless compositional approach as a result.
I like everything about The Tables Turn Too Often, but “Family Housing” really stuck out to me as exceptionally demonstrative of Brother Reverend’s artistic identity. The eerily robotic tempo is accented by a colorful melody and postmodern lyrics that match up well with the chaos of the band in the background. I don’t know why so many rock groups are reticent about stripping away studio frills in favor of making records in real time nowadays, as when they do it tends to yield a much more enthralling result – the precise kind that can be witnessed in The Tables Turn Too Often.
There’s a growing list of bands and solo acts that I’ve gotten exposed to this year that I really want to see live, but right now Brother Reverend is very near the top of the list.The Tables Turn Too Often is an absolutely immaculate album from start to finish, but all of its compelling material does make me wonder what this band would sound like in person, where there’s nothing between them and the audience. I’m sure I’ll get to find out soon once the band hits the road in support of this latest affair, and I would recommend anyone who loves unadulterated rock n’ roll do the same.