Thursday, April 3, 2008

Reviews:: The Black Hat Brigade EP

The Black Hat Brigade is probably going to hate constantly getting compared to Wolf Parade. While it may be valid on some tracks, not only does it set the bar absurdly high for a band that hasn't even released their first EP to the masses, but it pencils them into a style and sound that I'm not sure they are trying to create. It also leads to an unfair to those ridiculous superstar discussions, like draft experts trying to compare Kevin Durant to someone like Lebron or Kobe.

While Wolf Parade has taken the time to define their sound and suffer the growing pains of touring and critiques, The Black Hat Brigade is about to jump into the pool for the first time. Undoubtedly, they are going to be met with some strong (and warranted) praise - here and here for example - but for me, honestly, the most interesting thing about this release is wondering what happens next.

This record - without question - is solid from start to finish. Instantly, you are hit with the beautiful build of Whale Falls. The patiently let the track grow, knowing when to pull it tight and when to let go and it's hard to imagine anyone hearing this track and not wanting to keep listening. The same can be said for the energetic rockers like Swords and the hand clap heavy On Leave.

After listening to these tracks for a few days, it's the two song section of Limbo and Pictoral History that really get me excited. The simple xylophone and warm fuzz that embraces the guitar and drums drives the restrained track and let's the band play off each other. The last two and a half minutes are a steady groove that resists the temptation to showcase another style. They use a few minor shifts and let you enjoy the pleasant sounds instead of rushing you to another exhibit.

All too often bands drawing from the same influences and energy try to combine huge frantic transitions and herky-jerky movements to make you think the song is exciting. TBHB instead makes a smooth transition into the sci-fi, spacey, instrumental Pictorial History. They keep you moving and really show a great understanding of sequencing as the determined build on this jam is probably the best effort on the EP.


Posted at 3:21 PM by ack :: 2 comments

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At 8:58 PM, Blogger The R.O.B. did sayeth:

Agreed, or they'll hated bloggers like us saying that people are going to keep comparing them to Wolf Parade. In my defence, I said they were better than Wolf Parade...

That is a really interesting question about these guys: what next? Well, I think they have to prove themselves live - although, from the accounts that I've read - they're excellent. Consider me in the camp eagerly anticipating a full length...


At 3:38 PM, Anonymous matthew did sayeth:

I love these guys so much...for me, the best part of the EP is the way Pictoral History leads into Swords so well. It's amazing!

And they are pretty great live, too.


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