Album Review: Other Brothers — Born Out Of Tune

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The Other Brothers

Born Out Of Tune

In April, KUNI’s Mark Simmet interviewed Des Moines Blues Rock trio the Other Brothers, who had just released their third album, Born Out Of Tune. He brought up the question of what to call their brand of music and decided it was classic rock. The conversation turned to how classic rock has gotten a kind of stigma based on the typical limited radio station song rotation, but that the sound of that music is making another comeback. Guitars are cool again and bands like the Other Brothers are are getting deserved attention from it.

The Other Brothers — Eli Clark on guitar, vocals and harmonica, Lorenz Inez on bass and Jason Kadiwhompus on drums — aren’t a tired retread of classic rock formula. Born Out Of Tune continues the blues rock template that they cut back in 2015. This year, the band was a finalist in the Central Iowa Blues Society’s 24th annual Iowa Blues Challenge. Songs like bar ode “The Clementine” and “Red Bandana” feature a foot-stomping, swampy, country blues drawl that reminds me of the perennially cool Ray Wylie Hubbard and maybe a bit of Heartbreaker-era Ryan Adams.

When the band is driving in a groove — as in the song “This Time You’ll Notice” — they sound more like early proto-metal, like Blue Cheer or the MC5 or British pub rockers Dr. Feelgood. If you were a fan of Jet at the peak of their powers, you’ll dig this. Listening to Born Out Of Tune, it reminds me that there just isn’t enough unabashed balls-to-the-wall riff rock out there these days.

We seem to have moved so far away from the roots of our own rock and roll music that any current music anchored in blues riffs and led by guitars and swagger becomes something of a curiosity. The guys in the Other Brothers have made this their standard to bear, and while they may have been born out of tune, they seem to be right on time.

This article was originally published in Little Village issue 250.

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