Thursday, July 5, 2012

Brotherhood - . . . Turn the Gold to Chrome . . .

Brotherhood - Turn The Gold To Chrome

“You’re beautiful, so beautiful. You’re mine…till the end of time.” So says the chorus of Brotherhood’s “End of Time,” off of their album, “…Turn the Gold to Chrome…” Lovely sentiment; very romantic. That’s essentially the only lyric in that song, but despite that it’s a wonderful song. Heavy on the synths at first, enough that it hurt my ears the first few seconds, but the synths faded back and was joined by the bass and the drums.

The drums are hand in hand with the synths throughout this song and the rest of “…Turn the Gold to Chrome…”They beep and bop along enough to guarantee good dancing. I really liked the sound of the drumming; it didn’t distract from the song as a whole, but if you pay attention, it comes out as its own significant and vital part to the whole sound. It is very 80’s sounding, but very good nonetheless.

The bass on this album in particular was awesome, reminded me a bit of the Cure. It’s not common for a band to have the bass as a fore-font instrument, but it is in Brotherhood, and it’s very enjoyable. The bass lines come alive in songs such as “Abigail”, “End of Time” it’s the central instrument, even the guitars and synths backing down a bit so the bass line shines all the more. It throbs almost to the core of the listener, while the ghostly vocals spin a sinisterly romantic web around their brain, slipping in unseen and never leaving.

Micke Lönngren somewhat bucks the traditional deep bass vocals; the voice of Brotherhood is still on the deep side, but not as much as other Goth singers. I love Jyrki 69 as much as the next Goth, but I prefer singers such as Brotherhood’s, and another lovely lighter singer, the old vocalist from Lacrimas Profundere, can’t remember the chap’s name…anyway.

There’s a flute part in “Lost” that’s worth mentioning.  It sounds as if it’s played on a wooden flute, my favorite sounding material for wind instruments, there’s something tribalistic in it. Delicate and sweet, finishing off the song on a lovely note.

If there was a song I had trouble getting into, it would have to be, “So Many Stars”. It drags a bit in my opinion, everything from the vocals repeating “Nananana, na na na,” to the bass and the guitars creeping along, and not in the creeping way I usually enjoy. But “Sleepwalking” cures that immediately, the beginning of which sounding almost cheerful. A steady drum beat, swirling guitars, and psychedelic sounding synths cymbal tap paired with about as cheerful as the vocals get lamenting “How did I get here? What’s the reason?” But the lyrics are hopeful, saying, “Run away with me, everything is going to be fine...” It’s a beautiful song; I bet it makes even the darkest of us smile.

Brotherhood is from Sweden, and has only two members, though they sound like there must be at least six people in the band. Even more amazing, only one member, Stefan Eriksson, plays every instrument. On stage the duo is extended with guitar player Martin Roos, former guitarist in Sweden’s number one rock band Kent and Johan Mörén, former member of 80’s Swedish postpunk heroes Memento Mori (learned off of the press release).

A lyric from “Sleepwalking” mourns, “At least I tried,” well, with “…Turn the Gold to Chrome…”

Brotherhood succeeded with this try. I really, really liked this album, it’s very romantic and mournful, sleepy and tragic, darkly hopeful, and, just very well written. The bass is to die for, solidifying my belief that a good bass player is the key to a great Goth rock sound. Synths are good, except on some parts they could be touched down and have the guitars come forward more. The drumming chugs along lightly, great backbone for the sound. “…Turn the Gold to Chrome…” has made me want to look out for more Brotherhood tunes, definitely putting them on my Bands To Watch list.

--Gorgeous Nightmare

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