Howl (Big Stir Records) 2020
Formed 2012 in Cumbria, England, mylittlebrother features lead singer and pianist Will Harris, guitarist and vocalist Dan Mason, bassist and vocalist Robin Howson and drummer and vocalist Simon Buttress. The quartet recently released their long-awaited second full-length album, Howl, which is rich with sterling surprises.
Armed with a lovely voice emphasizing his British accent, Will sings his shrewdly-scripted songs on Howl with equal measures of warmth, charm and intensity. The band is truly terrific, delivering daring instrumental stunts, complemented by waves of in-the-pocket harmonies. A perfect pop song from head to toe, Responsibility romps and rolls to a biting hook, punctured with a burst of whistling sixties styled organ thrills. Built upon an attractive arrangement, a giddy chorus of “ba ba ba ba ba’s” and a flicker of freaky guitar gestures, Janey further embodies mylittlebrother’s knack for producing catchy pop rock. Quirky fret-fingering also arrives on the ear-splitting backwards distortion of Fallen, while Goldmine shakes and shuffles to a rather funky feel.
Starting off in a streamlined rock setting, Chicago is actually three songs mashed into a suite of sorts. The track ultimately transpires into a ravishing piano piece, flooded with melody and light. Majestic piano work is once again exercised on Time Of Our Lives, a sweeping ballad sure to steal the soul, and the title cut of the album favors a hard-edged rhythm and temper.
Comparisions to artists such as The Coral, The Granddaddys and Teenage Fan Club have often been pinned on mylittlebrother. But as Howl attests, they really sound like nobody except mylittlebrother. And that in itself is a good enough reason to give a listen to these engaging songs.