The Brothers Comatose

Respect the Van

by Chris Conaton

1 August 2012

 
cover art

The Brothers Comatose

Respect the Van

(The Brothers Comatose)
US: 22 May 2012
UK: 22 May 2012

Respect the Van, the second album from the Brothers Comatose, is yet another record that finds a group of guys who spent time in punk and rock bands pouring that same energy into shit-kicking acoustic music. The Brothers, led by actual siblings Ben and Alex Morrison, are a string quintet that splits the difference between their bluegrass and folk influences. That mixture leads to a nice sonic variety on Respect the Van, from the mid-tempo stomps, claps, and “Whoa-oh-oh” sing along of “Modern Day Sinners” to speedy workouts like “Feels Like the Devil” and the lightning-quick instrumental “Pennies Are Money Too”. The folkier material, like the lovely “Morning Time”, a male-female duet with Nicki Bluhm, and the dark, swirlingly creepy “Sleep”, provides a respite from the go-go-go energy of the rest of the record. There’s a surplus of road songs here (“Pie for Breakfast”, “120 East”, “The Van Song”), something you’d expect from a young band who’s constantly on tour. But the real highlight of the album is the jangly “The Scout”, a youth vs. experience diatribe that finds the youngster swearing not to grow up and be like his scout leader. The band plays the song with a jaunty knowingness that skillfully undercuts the young man’s earnest conviction.

Respect the Van

Rating:

 

We all know how critical it is to keep independent voices alive and strong on the Internet. Please consider a donation to support our work as independent cultural critics and historians. Your donation will help PopMatters stay viable through these changing and challenging times where costs have risen and advertising has dropped precipitously. We need your help to keep PopMatters strong and growing. Thank you.

 

//comments
//Mixed media
//Blogs

Call for Essays on Topics in Culture; Present, Past and the Speculative Future

// Announcements

"PopMatters (est. 1999) is a respected source for smart long-form reading on a wide range of topics in culture. PopMatters serves as…

READ the article