Brotherface - SELF-RELEASED
FILTER Grade: 76%
By Daniel Kohn on November 13, 2012
The indie-psych sounds of Writer, the brainchild of brothers James and Andy Ralph, can be deceiving. On Brotherface, an ambitious debut that was recorded on a four-track, the duo experiment with a varying degree of lo-fi, while crafting a collection of songs that they can call their own. Fuzzy guitars give “Swamp Fire Lake” and “Cash for Gold” the type of menacing intensity that would be at home in a horror film or, at the very least, on a Crazy Horse album. It’s when they decide to take things down a notch, like on the crunchy, Pinkerton-sounding “Hot Days” and “Miss Mermaid,” that the Ralphs are at their most melodic and harmonious best. However, louder doesn’t necessarily sound better, and when Writer crank up the volume at the expense of harmony it distracts from thoughtful, image-evoking lyrics—and an otherwise stellar debut.