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Brutus: Brutus

Evoking the spirit of bands such as Blue Cheer and Black Sabbath, Brutus have released a debut album of hard hitting, heavy blues rock that in some quarters would be described as stoner. However the Brutus sound really stems from a time before there was such a thing as stoner rock, they do have a thick sludgy vibe and most of the songs are rolled out at a pace best described as laid back. However there is always a touch of melody that hints at music from the late sixties and early seventies in a way that much stoner does not. Most of the songs are steady juggernauts of hard hitting bass lines and grinding riffs, though that is not to suggest that any of the songs contained on this eponymous album are pedestrian. In fact Brutus sound pumped up as their vigorous efforts are enriched with a spirit that makes the songs sound vital and fresh, while maintaining that retro edge.

The double guitar assault from Kim and Johan is easily matched by the brutal yet subtle force of bassist Krille and Knut-Ole on drums, making Brutus a real beast to contend with. Singer Jokke adds his thick, clear sounds with a smidge of Ozzy's nasal whine to the mix and those rich tones allow the uncompromising approach to have a smoother effect than initially expected. He does emit some strangled tones that are on the edge of in tune, however his bellows and howls add substantially to the music.

Highlights come thik and fast from the eight tracks, with the smart snare work and bouncy riff of "Hey Mama" housing one of the best grooves on the album, whilst "Solution" blends seductive bass line and broken down, stop start guitar work to the strongest vocal on the disc. The only real missed step on the album is the meandering and rather pointless "Swedish Lady", it does contain an excellent guitar solo, however the album would have been stronger for its omission. That however is splitting hairs as the other seven tracks are excellent.

There is a perception that stoner is an easy genre to impress in, however to make songs thoroughly memorable in any genre takes skill and dedication and considering this is Brutus' first offering the fact that they achieve just that, is all the more impressive.

Track Listing
1. Hypnotised
2. Solution
3. Feel Free
4. Golden Town
5. Spirit of Time
6. Swedish Lady
7. Hey Mama
8. Swamp City Blues

Added: June 13th 2010
Reviewer: Steven Reid
Related Link: Brutus MySpace
Hits: 2906
Language: english

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