Brother Son buttresses their growing reputation as a promising four piece with their latest album release Goodies. Their indie alternative rock sound hosts an array of common reference points with a classic idiosyncratic pop guitar glow, but the individual performances stand out as much for the stylistic synthesis they achieve. It is a natural successor to the band’s winning first full length Young & Pretty and extends their reach into greater songwriting than before. The eleven song release features the talents of vocalist/songwriter Francis Harrington, but make no mistake – Brother Son is a band affair and not a glorified solo vehicle.
Guitar is important for the band’s sonic complexion, but never focuses on a six string centric approach. Brother Son includes a number of songs on Goodies where Harrington plays fills flushing the song with color. Each of the album’s eleven songs sparkle and “Bigfoot” is one of the collection’s brightest gems. Drew Gilsbers’ keyboard playing deepens the painter-like touches wreathing the cut’s vivid impact. Bassist Jimmy Walkup and drummer Chris Pecorelli serve the song’s demands without exaggerating their presence in the mix. “Goin’ South” sparkles as well thanks to the piano’s light melodic step and packs a handful of low-key surprises throughout the song illustrating their flexibility.
Harrington’s vocal for the album’s lead-off single “Candy” is a main selling point for the track. It teems with even more emotion than we hear in those earlier songs and elevates a fine opening number to even taller heights. The track sounds like it is built around Walkup’s bass and strengthens the song’s connection with listeners. Harrington’s reverb torch song guitar for “Matter of Time” wavers between terse punctuation and brief lyrical phrases before incorporating tasty six string breaks near the song’s mid-point. There is a soft shift in tempo and “Matter of Time” adopts a rhythmic jaunt for a quarter of the track until they slow down again near the conclusion.
“Parable” has a buoyant stride and Harrington’s surging emotion matches the musical uplift. He tosses short scat vocal flurries and glides through the vocal phrasing while still bring empathic passion to the song’s bridges. Gilsbers’ organ contributions broaden the track’s sound and Chris Pecorelli’s drumming gives the track an insistent snap. “Ride: has soulful stylishness capable of surprising the band’s first time listeners but anyone familiar with Young & Pretty will smile hearing the refining of elements the first album sketches but never fills out like they do here. The chorus is among the most potent on Goodies.
The album’s second to last song “Runnin’ Away” has a stomping heartbeat avoiding any hint of obnoxiousness and lands in the right place. It stands out as an imaginative example of Brother Son’s willingness to shift gears into memorable time signature variations. The slow motion stutter defining much of the finale “Woody” lingers in memory as final testimony to their growth and it is another standout turn for Harrington. Brother Son opts to exit stage left with one of the more daring songs on Goodies and bodes well for an ever brighter future.