O'Brother | Garden Window

Triple Crown/Favorite Gentlemen (2011)
By ANNIE ZALESKI  |  January 10, 2012
3.0 3.0 Stars


O'Brother's bio for their debut album, Garden Window, reads in part: "Native American tradition believed taking a picture of someone also took a piece of their soul. O'Brother views this album in the same vein. It captures a piece of them at a time in their lives that they will never get back." As those words might lead you to expect, the Atlanta band hold nothing back on this harrowing album. Cathartic post-rock howlers in the vein of Deftones ("Sputnik") and tour (and label) mates Manchester Orchestra ("Lay Down") sprawl like violent Midwest thunderstorms. Meanwhile, the nuance of Boston's brainiac post-metal innovators — including Cave In, Isis, and O'Brother's upcoming tour buddies, Junius — adds atmospheric texture and emotional heft. This barrage of relentless noise and pummeling rhythms, when coupled with Garden Window's amorphous arrangements, can make the album claustrophobic, monotonous, and overwhelming. But the record's redeemed by its range: "Lo" is a bulldog snarl indebted to hypnotic stoner rock, and the gothic "Bear" resembles the clawing despair of the Cure circa Pornography. Vocalist Tanner Merritt, who's often a dead ringer for Deftones frontman Chino Moreno, sears his throat raw with some neo-screamo bloodletting on "Cleanse Me" and tones it down to a ghost-white croon on "Last Breath."

O'BROTHER + JUNIUS + RIBS | Brighton Music Hall, 158 Brighton Ave, Allston | February 17 @ 8 pm | 18+ | $12 | 617.779.0140 or brightonmusichall.com

Related: Review: Joyful Noise, Alex Chilton | Free Again: The ''1970'' Sessions, Cardinal | Hymns, More more >
  Topics: CD Reviews , Music, off the record, rhythms,  More more >
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