Look Out for Gentleman Brawlers
I began to truly and honestly listen to music when I was around 14 years old. I don’t remember what I did to pass the time before that, but around that age, I began to analyze lyrics, pay attention to the music behind the vocals, and figure out what exactly I liked about music. If there’s one thing I’ve learned since then, it’s that no one should take the label ‘genre’ too seriously. In the modern world of music, the spectrum of genres is infinite, as bands have started to blend genres together and began to erase any boundaries that existed before. New York-based Gentleman Brawlers is one of those bands who decided that one genre just wasn’t enough for them.
On their ReverbNation page, Gentleman Brawlers claim to sound like Deerhunter, Tina Turner, Bon Iver, Tame Impala, and Hot Chip. This collection of bands alone was enough to confuse me before I listened to their music; I normally like to get an idea of what I’m getting myself into, but Gentlemen Brawlers just wasn’t having it.
The psychedelic Afro-soul revivalists wrote a song for an album called Occupy This Album, a record that supported the Occupy movement going on in New York in 2012; a year later, the group dropped a self-produced EP entitled We Were Made For These Times. Since then, the band’s latest psychedelic single, “My Theory” has been featured in jazz clubs all over the world, and for good reason.
“My Theory” is a song I found myself accidentally listening to three or four times in a row; I’m still uncertain of how many times it played because if I’m being honest, play number five or six is happening as I type this out. It’s not that the song is easy to block out or is meant to be background noise; in fact, it’s quite the opposite. The steady rhythm accompanied by such lovely vocals and unexpectedly-fitting random effects captured my attention for a good fifteen minutes. I moved on to other songs, found out they were a multi-vocal band with two males and a female vocalist, and came to one conclusion: there really is no genre for Gentleman Brawlers.
Every song was so different than the previous one, to the extent that they perhaps don’t belong on the same record. Of course, in a fashion only these guys could pull of, they found common ground in the rhythm and made it work. Each song, though vastly different than the one before or after it, belonged on the same piece of art. It just did! No wonder they listed off five completely different artists to compare themselves to; I can’t make up my mind either! I am quite certain that this band is on its way to fame. Look out, world, Gentleman Brawlers is destroying your musical boundaries and taking names. Except a new full-length record this September!