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The Brew: Control

The track listing might read like you are scanning through a list of TV remote functions but there is nothing vaguely predictable about the music created by this raunchy classic rock / driving blues three piece who hail from the previously unheralded rock and roll mecca of Grimsby. Formed back in 2004 and with three albums, a live release and festivals and gigs with heavyweights such as Ozzy, Skynyrd, Jeff Beck and ZZ Top behind them, the band of Jason Barwick (vocals/guitar) and the father and son rhythm section of Tim and Kurt Smith have really hit their stride with Control.

Toby Jepson, once of Little Angels but now finding himself increasingly in demand as a producer, has worked his magic in coaxing the very best performance from The Brew, much as he did with The Answer on their last release. Recorded entirely live the band have taken their considerable stage craft and reinvented it for the studio with remarkable results. Raw, earthy and with a vibrant energy there are knowing nods in the direction of the 60's and the 70's but with the added bite of the twenty first century. Right from the insistent buzz saw groove of 'Repeat' the trio are off and running; 'Mute' explodes with a dynamic urgency, 'Pause' is a rumbling riff soaked monster of Zeppelin-esque mood swings and 'Stop' is a 60's infused laid back acoustic strummer of heart and soul. Control will ensure The Brew a secure foothold on the ladder to success and this is a hugely impressive release from a band that is well and truly on the way up.

Track List:-
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Added: February 2nd 2014
Reviewer: Dean Pedley
Related Link: Artist Website
Hits: 2224
Language: english

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The Brew: Control
Posted by Steven Reid, SoT Staff Writer on 2014-02-02 12:37:19
My Score:

It takes a lot of guts for a band five releases into their career and with considerable success on the live circuit in Europe, to take a step back and really take a look at what they're about. Well that's exactly what Classic Rock, Heavy Blues three-piece The Brew have done with Control, deciding that to capture the live energy and feel they produce on stage, they had to record their new album completely live in the studio, to the point where in places it is possible to hear the effects pedals being stamped on to make guitars howl, scream and sting. Boy does it work - and then some! The band's previous studio effort, The Third Floor from 2011 was a serious statement, surging with energy and reeking of 70s authenticity. However only when I heard the 2012 album Live In Europe, did I realise exactly what The Brew (or The Brew UK as they seem to have been known for a short time over the past few years - thankfully we're back to simply The Brew now) were capable of.

Well hat's off, ring the bells, and shout from the rooftops, for what Jason Barwick (vocals/guitars), Tim Smith (bass/vocals) and Kurt Smith (drums) have frothingly crafted here, positively bulges with forceful, irresistible energy and is one of the best 70s inspired Classic Rock albums a UK act has delivered for many a year. Yes, we're talking seriously, seriously (I could add another seriously, but you're with me now) potent stuff here. However it isn't all just piss and vinegar, or passion over skill, or substance over style; there's a real eye for detail, a variety between songs and the feel that even the more seat of the pants sections have been painstakingly worked through. Think The Answer on steroids (and I really like The Answer), a single guitar Thin Lizzy finally capturing their live prowess in the studio and you'll be in the right dirty, bluesy, yet heavy, refined and in our face ballpark. A stinging production from Toby Jepson (The Answer/Saxon) doesn't exactly hurt either.

The tracks all have titles like "Rewind", "Skip", "Shuffle", "Play" and Mute", however this isn't a concept about my old top-loader VCR which took ten people to close and only played three video cassettes and even then only sections of them on long-play. Rather the simple titles are used to illustrate wider issues, with relationships, the world around us and life in general commented on in an astute but non-finger wagging fashion.

You might get the impression that I quite like this album but you'd be wrong. I REALLY like his album! You will too!

2004 Sea Of Tranquility
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