Up-and-coming southern rock act Gill Brothers Band released its self-titled debut Tuesday through Slang Church. The record is an interesting presentation that fans of said genre will find worth hearing at least once. This is proven in part through its featured musical arrangements, which will be discussed shortly. The lyrical content that accompanies the album’s musical arrangements adds to the record’s appeal in its own right and will be discussed a little later. The record’s production rounds out its most important elements and will also be examined later. Each item noted plays into the album’s engagement and entertainment in its own way. All things considered, they make the album a new addition to this year’s field of independent and rock albums that is worth hearing at least once.
Gill Brothers Band, the debut record from its namesake act, is a presentation that will appeal to fans of the southern rock realm. That is due in large part to its featured musical arrangements. From start to end, the 35-minute album, the arrangements exhibit influences from a wide range of southern rock acts whose own music also shows clear blues influence. Speaking more specifically, a song, such as ‘Small Block’ (which comes late in the album’s run) presents not only a southern rock sound, but a stylistic similarity to AC/DC and Lynyrd Skynyrd, what with the chromatic riffs and the distinct vocal style in the verses. Interestingly enough, the song’s choruses lend themselves to comparison to works from Foo Fighters, making for quite the intriguing duality. Even with that being the case, the overall arrangement is well-balanced and makes itself stand out among the rest of the record’s arrangements.
On another note, ‘Rest In Piece’ actually has a very subtle tribute to a well-known Metallica song in its secondary guitar line and steady bass drum beat. Whether that similarity was intentional is known only by the band. Regardless, that great tribute (subtle as it is) alongside the arrangement’s more southern rock leanings gives this arrangement its own unique identity separate from that in ‘Small Block’ and from the rest of the album’s arrangements. It further shows the importance of the record’s overall musical arrangements to the album’s overall presentation.
As if everything noted is not enough, the arrangement featured in ‘Nobody’s Fool’ does its own share to continue showing the variety in the record’s arrangements. In the case of this arrangement, one cannot help but make the slightest comparison to works from the J. Geils Band in the song’s verses. The choruses meanwhile lean more in the noted familiar southern rock sense. Maybe the J. Geils Band comparison is just in this critic’s ears and mind, but even if that is the case, then so be it. This critic does hear it. The blend of those two distinctly different styles and sounds once again makes clear the variety of the musical content featured throughout the album, and the importance thereof. When it and the other arrangements examined here are considered along with the rest of the album’s arrangements (which exhibit influences of Black Crowes, Zac Brown Band, and Lynyrd Skynyrd) the whole makes clear just how important the album’s overall musical content is to the record’s presentation.
While the musical arrangements featured throughout Gill Brothers Band unquestionably do a lot to make the record worth hearing, they are just part of what makes the record work as well as it does. The lyrical themes that accompany the album’s musical content add to the noted appeal. Case in point is the lyrical theme featured in ‘By Your Side.’ In the case of this song, it is another ode to a former romantic interest. That is made clear in the song’s lead verse, which states, “If I had the money/I’d buy you a boat/We’d take it out on the clear lake/Oh how we’d float/But money isn’t the answer/At least that’s the way it should be/I swear we used to laugh/So easily/Is it wrong/To mourn for love/Makes me sick/To sing this song I’m thinking of/Now the memory/It stays with me/And the feeling passes by/Down that highway/If I’d had it my way/I’d still be by your side/Would it be alright/Could I stay by your side?” The song’s second verse continues in similar fashion, with mentions of wishing for closure along the way. It is a familiar topic that is made more interesting when it is considered alongside the song’s musical arrangement. That is because the mood set through the Reckless Kelly style musical arrangement is not as melancholy as one might think. Rather it is more semi celebratory as it recalls the happier times.
‘Rock and Roll,’ which is one of the album’s singles, is yet another example of the importance of its lyrical content. In the case of this song, it finds the song’s subject wondering if the path that he took in life was the right choice. This is inferred in the song’s lead verse and chorus, which state, “The property is going to s***/It’s a hit/Do you think you’ll stick around next time you’re down/I tell you what, buddy/I’m short on your money/Hold up/Get down/I’m turning licks into honey/I just can’t decide/Did rock and ruin ruin or save my life?/And I just can’t decide/Did rock and roll ruin or save my life?” The second verse adds to that sense as it states, “I’m running out of steam/I can’t remember the dream/The Gisbon’s in the case/And I’m watching TV/Pick up the slack/Could you please run it back?/I’m riding alone/I’m riding right off the tracks.” In other words, this is someone who is headed in the wrong direction. It’s a familiar topic, though not overly familiar anywhere in the music industry. Again, considering the song’s musical arrangement, this theme becomes even more interesting, considering the theme’s contemplative nature. Keeping all of this in mind, the song’s lyrical theme continues to show, in its own way, the importance of the album’s lyrical content. It is its own theme that stands apart from the others featured throughout the album that will engage and entertain audiences in its own way.
‘Nobody’s Fool’ is yet another example of the important role that Gill Brothers Band‘s lyrical content plays in its overall picture. In the case of this song, its lyrics come across as a statement of someone who is looking forward as he looks to the past, determined to make changes. This is inferred in the song’s chorus, which states, “When I get off this mountain/Tell you what I’m going to do/Take the things that made me stronger/And give them all right back to you/When I get up off my a**/And do the things that I should do/I’ll see the things around me changing/Seeing me and you change, too.” The mountain is a metaphor for life, and how the song’s subject is having to “climb” it. It is another familiar topic presented in a unique fashion that is also accessible to audiences. When it is considered along with the equally relatable themes examined here and with the rest of the album’s themes, the whole leaves no question about the importance of the album’s lyrical themes. When the album’s musical and lyrical content is collectively considered, that whole makes the album all the more engaging and entertaining. It is collectively just part of what makes the album stand out. The record’s production rounds out its most important elements.
The production that went into the album’s presentation is important to note because of its role in the album’s general effect. The production ensures that the best is brought out of each song, expertly balancing the instrumentation and vocals within each track. That balance makes the listening experience that much more enjoyable, too. In turn, it ensures listeners will find themselves paying more attention to each arrangement and each lyrical theme, thus immersing themselves into the record that much more. Keeping all of this in mind, Gill Brothers Band proves itself a positive start for the up-and-coming country/southern rock act.
Gill Brothers Band’s self-titled debut album is a mostly successful offering from the up-and-coming country/southern rock band. That is proven in part through its featured musical arrangements. The arrangements are each familiar in their approach and sound, but still boast unique minutiae that makes them all the more engaging and entertaining. The album’s lyrical themes are just as accessible as its musical arrangements. Audiences will connect with that aspect of the album as much as the record’s musical content. The album’s production produces a welcoming general effect that ensures audiences’ engagement and entertainment just as much as the record’s content. Each item examined is important in its own way to the whole of the album’s presentation. All things considered, they make the album an overall welcome addition to this year’s field of new independent albums.
Gill Brothers Band is available now through Slang Church. More information on the album is available along with all of the band’s latest news at https://www.facebook.com/gillbrosband.
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