Published Oct 13, 2016Despite being touted as a side-project for the Sheepdogs' Currie brothers, frontman Ewan and keyboardist Shamus, Vol. 1 is an infectious record full of rich harmonies and refreshing funk grooves. While the Sheepdogs are known for their old-school revivalist rock'n'roll, as BROS the pair explore some very different musical stylings that are unexpected and downright fun.
Opening track "Tell Me" is an alluring mix of power pop vocal layers and vintage funk instrumentals that's catchy as hell. There are dazzling organ lines and vibrant vocal harmonies, setting the tone for an album that's eclectic yet focused. The brothers continue to demonstrate the breadth of their abilities on "Brazil," with its laid-back samba beat and lyrics that dreamily yearn for escape. It's a whimsical bossa nova groove with vocals, horns and several organs that intertwine throughout the track.
The rest of the tracklisting continues the trend of musical exploration. "Sometimes You Got to Be Sad" is a melodic cut with overdriven guitars and sweet falsetto, and "Watch Who You're Talking To" is a sultry track with an intoxicating groove.
The production on Vol. 1 is outstanding, too. The album is glossy while still retaining the warmth of the records that BROS are clearly drawing their influence from. The organs are full and lush sounding, the bass is emphatic and present and the horns are punchy. Both brothers perform vocals on the album, and although their voices differ tonally, they both shine here, cutting through the busy instrumentals with ease.
Vol. 1 is a celebration of the other side of the BROS' '70s influences. Instead of paying homage to the Allman Brothers and the Guess Who, Ewan and Shamus faithfully honour the likes of the Doors, Sly & the Family Stone and even Carlos Santana. The album is a headfirst dive into heady '70s nostalgia, but Vol. 1 will make you happy you took the plunge. (Dine Alone)