You’d think with The Strypes hitting the scene there’d be a tsunami of rock and roll, and blues rock bands buzzing all over the place. Woodstock would be relived, rockstars would set their guitars on fire again and we’d start taking tabs whilst listening to Hendr…Well yeah that does seem a bit far fetched. But despite The Strypes’ recent (and possibly given to them on a silver platter for singing pretentious songs) success, there’s been a serious lack of blues bands, especially the more mature ones. If you really did want something interesting and current though, you’d find yourself all over the internet and end up at Little Brother Eli’s EP.
EP opener Animal Fair has the classic blues opener of the singer crooning with impeccable power, leading to the the fuzz of the guitar charging through the song. The riff is pretty catchy too, but the production of an unsigned band becomes quite evident here with the fuzz occasionally overwhelming the whole song, and the screeches of the guitar making me wince. The breakdown doesn’t do much to the song except propel the following solo. And oh man, does this make the song, I just wish it was longer.
From their website, Soundcloud tags, and Facebook page, Little Brother Eli make a point to tell the world their hip-hop influence. It’s not too explicit, in fact the subtlety of it is really refreshing. A lovely fusion of blues, rock and hip-hop, without sounding like Nu-Metal? Yeah I can live with that. I get a hint of Justin Timberlake in track two Awkward Positions, and who wouldn’t love that? The song flows along with a jazzy drum beat, warbling chords, and a lead that’d remind anyone of the most tempting femme fetal. There’s something special about the singer of this band, his vocal range is pretty wide and he could easily go absolutely massive with his delivery.
The EP closer When She Sings, though is the special one. The soft, feel good, reminiscent of Little Joy album closer that could soundtrack any love story. The vocals in this are just beautiful while the singer fluctuates the melody so modestly. And just for the hell of it what do Little Brother Eli do? Incorporate some ska-type guitar work to give it even more of a dance-y mood. As the song gets heavier to add more depth in places, the melody just makes it all the more sweeter when at the same time backing vocals bless the track. Ending back on the classic acoustic guitar, well, it’s almost too good to be true isn’t it?
Little Brother Eli love their classics, and this first EP bleeds classics. It’s likeable, fun to listen to, and really catchy in some places too. Although at times production is a bit rusty, and the songwriting seem a bit immature, the substance is there nonetheless. I can only see them developing into a band that’ll define their sound later on to form something very great indeed.
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Words by Saagar Kaushik