Album Review: The Brutalists – “The Brutalists”
Now here’s a bit of an odd one – the Brutalists are the new band from former Quireboys bassist Nigel Mogg, and also featuring guitarist Mick Cripps, formerly of LA Guns’ prime time line-up, and his twin brother Robert (previously of LA glam minor-leaguers Demolition Gore Galore). So you’d probably be forgiven for expecting sleaze rock central here.
And you would of course be completely and utterly wrong. Rather than having their eyes on 1985, it seems the Brutalists have firmly set the controls on their musical time machine for some time around 1978, or whenever that point was just after punk that the pub rockers all cut their hair and went new wave. You’ll hear echoes here of everyone from Dr Feelgood through Eddie & The Hot Rods, to Ian Dury and the Blockheads and 10cc.
It could have been well south of disastrous, but the Brutalists clearly know what they’re doing here and have put their experience to good use. Mogg has adapted surprisingly well to the frontman role, weirdly sounding oddly like a cross between the Heavy Metal Kids’ Gary Holton, and his old Peckham Cowboys bandmate Marc Eden. Behind him, the band turn in a surprisingly varied set – while Meet Me Half Way is pure Feelgoods (especially the Roxette style riff), Know Your Value could almost be Sound And Vision era Bowie and Nutter could almost be Chas & Dave if you squint a bit (and I mean that in a good way). Best of all though is scooter boy anthem You Got It, which is a well timed three minute blast of punk aggro and speeds by satisfyingly.
It’s often the sign of a good album for a reviewer when you end up listening to a new record after a long knackering evening slaving away writing, and still find a smile creeping across your face and your toe starting to tap. This is definitely one of those times. So a big cheers to the Brutalists for cheering up the tail end of my day today – this one definitely gets a recommendation here.
An excellent all-killer no-filler collection of knockabout tunes which owes a tip of the hat to everyone from Steve Marriott to Jimmy Pursey, but manages to blend all those influences together and sprinkle in a bit of top tune stardust to create something genuinely great. Certainly one of the better albums I've heard this year, and I'd definitely urge those of you reading this to go and check it out.