It is the propensity for mankind to classify the things around them. We like things to fit into a category with other things like it. And I am no different. That being said, I can’t seem to place the NY-based trio, The Como Brothers Band into one nice, neat little package. Just as it seems their four-track EP, Speed of Sound, starts to go in one direction, it takes an abrupt about face and heads another direction all together.
The EP opens to the hard-rocking “Underneath It All.” Effects-laden opening fuzz guitar soon surrenders to chord progression and melodic verse work. The heavy rock element is interwoven with pop melody but for a trio, these guys make a lot of music on what could easily become a radio-friendly single. The follow-up “You Are My World” slows the pace from agro to groovy blusey, opening with acoustic picking and slight backing percussion. At the chorus the track takes on a guitar tandem melody and harmonized vocals and sounds like it could easily be a B-side from a Guster album. “I Don’t Like You” with its staccato beat comes out of the gate reminiscent of Queens of the Stone Age only laced with intermittent blues riff work over the steady backing chug of electric. The time change at the midpoint features near rap-like verse work before giving way to a soaring solo through to the ‘fade. The jangle opening of “Can I Be Matched With You” is a constant vein through more pop melody. Gone are the heavy rock guitar lines until the wah pedal solo at the midpoint. Again, the band has written an ideal 3:30 pop rocker that would do nicely in radio rotations.
Maybe it is good to be exclusionary and to eschew a “nice, neat little package.” The pop melody is there. The heavy effects-laden rock is there. The bent note blues stuff is even there. But it doesn’t strike me that the brothers Como are “searching” for a sound; it feels like they’ve found it and it just happens to be one amalgam of many. A respectable EP for the trio with so many facets, perhaps it should have been named the “Speed of Sounds.” Imagine what the full-length will sound like.
by Christopher West – firstname.lastname@example.org