Klef Notes

Music Reviews

The Söur Bruthers

There are four things in life that you can bet your last dollar on:  1) you will tell a lie one day in your life; 2) you will fall in love more than once; 3) you will get your heart broken; and 4) Rock Music will NEVER die. 

Why will Rock Music never die? Because it has taken all kinds of music to create this amazing genre of music, and by means of that, this music really incorporates the soul and heartbeat of the human experience.  Really, every race, creed, sexual preference, and nationality can relate to Rock in all of its wonderful adaptations and subgenres.  So Rock music is not going anywhere, and aren’t’ we glad? 

Therefore, if you are going to do Rock, better do it right because all eyes are on YOU.  Better come prepared- your brand and your music better all embody the spirit of Rock – the dichotomy of rebelliousness and respect. 

Out of the gate, the Söur Bruthers are doing just that.  With a brawling, take no prisoners attitude to music; this Rock band is doing Rock music right by making their own rules while following the design laid by the Fathers of Rock. 

Hailing from Chicago Illinois USA, this musical band of brothers pride themselves in delivering Midwestern Rock music with a twang of Country – so much so they even altered the spelling of the word “Brothers” by dropping the typical “o” and adding a “u” instead.  So clever, because when you place a “u” into the basic spelling of a word, this automatically changes its pronunciation making the changed term SOUND more Southern, or shall I say “Suthern.”  

What a true defining element of a Rock band – going so far as to make sure even their name match the essential image of their brand – what they have labeled “Sourlicious Rock” a self-chosen subgenre of Rock.  We will touch on this later on in the review.  Right now, it is all about the music. 

And I am not going to add fluff or lie; we have heard Rock music fused with Country before, but what makes the Söur Bruthers’ take on this genre different is the mix of the fusion on this EP which collectively illustrates a polished form of Midwestern Rock.  

On this collection, we are presented with Chicago Blues Rock (Blues music played with an electric guitar and an amp versus an acoustic guitar – the sound is so much more appealing and has more urban and street prowess), Mississippi Delta Rock (a subgenre of Southern Rock music), Alternative Rock, and pure Rock all with a Country twang. 

Released November 5, 2017, their self-titled EP called “Söur Bruthers” includes six songs: 

1) Sinkin' Down

2) Better Days

3) 3 a.m.

4) All I Want

5) Wash Away

6) Release Me 

In this review, I will reflect on the four tracks that dominantly show the band’s ride or die Rock spirit.  

The first song called “Sinkin' Down” kicks the entire EP into gear with that ride or die Rock spirit.  This song plays like the Cadillac of Rock Fusion.  Lyrically telling the story of that sinkin down feeling one gets when you just can’t go anymore, Tim sings “heaven help me, well I think I’m sinking down/it’s been a long hard road and there ain’t no end in sight.”  This song can be the band’s calling card as we hear each key player make an introduction.  Then at the 3 minute 30 second mark, we are introduced to an old school guitar playing style that so needs to be placed back into mainstream Rock – that open G tuning with a slide.  This technique all started with Muddy Waters back in the day and this type of guitar playing adds such flavor to the cut – it is like drinking a Boilermaker instead of a standard beer.  This is Chicago Blues Rock at its best.  The track closes with harmony on steroids as we get background vocal harmonies blended with guitars harmoniously singing along with thumping drums, tambourine, brass, and soulful scales.

A crisp piano played by Bill takes center stage on the 3rd song entitled “3 a.m.” a practical song about heartache.  One of the slower tempo tracks on “Söur Bruthers” touts great conversational lyrics and a blissful early morning vibe which softens the blow of an early morning breakup or the realization that you are alone.  Why does it seem that all breakups and arguments start in the early hours of the day?  I mean, could heartbreakers choose for once to breakup during Happy Hour when you have a drink in your hand? Dag.  Well, at least this song numbs the pain.  This Alternative Rock track encases the Söur Bruthers’ signature harmonies and blazing guitars.  Keeping the confident tempo alive is Mike S. and Tony A. on percussions.  This track additionally has the inclusion of that classic distortive reverberation production which made the Monkeys and the Beatles’ music so huge and appealing. “It’s 3 a.m. there’s too much noise inside my head;” it can’t get any more real than that.

Coming out of Chi-Town, a song that truly represents that die hard Rock aura is “Wash Away.”  Tim’s lead is so Jon Bon Jovial on this track.  Singing in a more raspy timbre, Tim sings “When I draw my last breath is it here that I’m gonna lay.”  This song slides right alongside the iconic Rock songs of the 1980s decade that touched on the topic of pain, death, and love equally while not sacrificing that ride or die effect of Rock, for ex:  “On a Bed of Roses” by Bon Jovi and “Every Rose has its Thorn” by Poison.  Each of these songs, including “Wash Away,” utilizes edgy instrumentation to execute the song versus using the typical ominous piano melody of Soft Rock.  In like manner, the fifth song on “Söur Bruthers” beckons that raw, hungry, soul wrenching delivery of Rock.  A bit more dark in its flavor, Mike A’s trademark of spirited guitar playing brings surrealism to the cut with those riffs. This track captures angst in four minutes. 

And last, but not least, if ever there was a song that represented the Mississippi Delta subgenre of Rock, it would be “Release Me.”  Closing the EP, this commanding track flaunts a Jagger-esque vocal along with touchy keys and a well laid bass line.  The lyrical composition features a story about FREEDOM at all costs – what better storyline to display the true soul of Rock music.  The additional instrumentation as well as a modernized production keep this song current and aids in it being commercially ready.  One strategic instrumental technique on this cut that just oozes that deep Country Red Dirt music is that Memphis-style of guitar playing where there is no strumming pattern; you are just letting the soul and the Delta roots lead you.  This track is “Sourlicious.”   Which brings me back to the point posed earlier, what is “Sourlicious?” 

Let me articulate my take on this self-chosen subgenre of Rock music called “Sourlicious” pronounced (ˈsaʊəˈlɪʃəs).  According to the dictionary, “sour” has several definitions, but the one that frames this band would be the acidic factor of their music.  That acid – that “ah” feeling after swallowing a hard drink, that is both harsh and satisfying.  

After listening to the Söur Bruthers’ music, you truly do exhale a sigh of satisfaction.  No matter if you are starting or ending your day on a high point or a low point, there will be a track that gives you that musical satisfaction needed to keep you going or place your mind into a whole other frame – the way Rock N Roll used to do for its audience back in the day. 

Then we have the “licious” aspect.  The suffix is taken from delicious [(de)licious] meaning “highly pleasant to the taste” or appealing.  So in seeing this, this self-placed genre within Rock is aptly fitting for this band as their music can cater to the many musical tastes of the masses, again, like TRUE Rock N Roll. 

And there we have it – Sourlicious – music that is truly satisfying for all of the elements of everyday life:  the bitter, the sweet, the joy, the pain, the highs, and the lows.  Simply put, that IS the Söur Bruthers type of Rock – actually, that is Rock music. 

The Söur Bruthers consist of Tim (lead vocalist, songwriter, and guitars), Bill (bassist, background vocals, and piano/keys), Mike A. (lead guitarist), Tony A. (percussionist), and Mike S. (percussionist). 

So the question is does these Chi-Town Rockers’ music have the goods and the rep to tout such a boast, SO much so that they can place their music under its very own genre?  They surely do and the proof is in the music.   

Housing three guitarists and two, count them two, drummers, consider them musical outlaws as they are respecting the Rock gods while simultaneously laying their own spin on the genre.  So the law just has to sit back and let them ride it out.  

And again the masterful alteration of the band’s name truly adds a twang of Country to the pronunciation of the word “Brothers” giving it that drawl that makes everything alright which balances well with their selected choice of Rock. 

This is a great twist from the norm as this sets them apart from their competitors and sets them above. 

These guys have that ah-mazing dichotomy of Rock – the ying and yang in ever day life – the tears and laughter, the ups and downs, the pleasure and pain, and so on.  What The Söur Bruthers has brought into focus in the world of today’s music is a spirited eclectic form of Rock fusion that plays like a soundtrack to an outlaw movie – that bar-room brawl banging percussions, guitars riffing and cutting like the sour side of Tequila, bittersweet lyrics, accompanied by some juicy, spirited ROCK.  So, I am going to say that this EP is the Gin and Juice collection of the EPs that will soon be released under their genre of “Sourlicious Rock.”  

With their self-chosen subgenre of Rock, a uniquely spelled name, and common sense lyrics, the Söur Bruthers’ are lyrically and musically giving Music to the masses the right way with grit and truth.  It is Rock Music baby . . . . It’s Sourlicious! 

If you are in or near Chi-town (USA), you can get to see this livid band of Bruthers rock out live on December 15th at Brauerhouse in Lombard Illinois.  Better yet, go to https://sourbruthers.bandcamp.com/album/s-ur-bruthers to listen to samples and purchase this ah-some EP. 

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