Purposefully unclassifiable and borrowing from predecessors such as Pink Floyd, The Flaming Lips and, as odd as it may appear, Neil Young, Younger Brother’s latest, entitled Vaccine, is a sure fire testament to the heights the band will achieve in the coming months and hopefully years.
Younger Brother, a collective brainchild of artists Simon Posford, Benji Vaughn and recently singer Ru Campbell, loads the album with nine emotionally and rhythmically admirable tracks, clocking in at a concise and quite seamless fifty-two minutes of tasteful and enjoyable talent.
They start the album off with the track “Crystalline”, which begins with what seems to be heavy, electronic footsteps set to the beat of the heart and slowly builds into an unstoppable, psyche probing wavelength that transitions and flows through the entire album.
This first track, possibly the least emotionally powerful of the bunch, hits notes of success but eventually falls into the trap of a heavy but well intentioned play off of The Flaming Lips and Coldplay, especially Campbell’s annunciation and obvious homage to Lip’s lead singer Wayne Coyne. And while this problem seems pervasive throughout the album, not solely in Campbell’s singing but rather the already treaded path taken by the aforementioned predecessors, Vaccine truly takes off when the group focuses on their own originality and leaves what other bands have done in the past behind.
They achieve this with great success in three subsequent tracks; “Pound a Rhythm”, “Safety in Numbers” and “Night Lead Me Astray”, with all three showing the prowess and exemplary skill this group possesses without having to rely on the musicians and beats that have come before them.
Campbell’s voice shines in each of these tracks, his range remarkable and unwavering, and his style his own and very welcoming.
“Pound a Rhythm” features some eclectic and groovy, needless to say, rhythms and breakdowns and is lyrically inspiring and driven. “Lost in myself trying to sing my song…” is just an example of the heady and imagination, curdling prose the band throws at the listener all the while entwined in a trance-inducing beat.
Where Vaccine really takes its stride is in the pacing. Each song seems a part of the next, not in a round a bout way, but more to the affect of each song being a relative to the next, the same bloodline flowing throughout.
“Safety in Numbers”, in all its glorious weirdness, is perhaps the most accessible and “entertaining” of the group. Lined with a simple yet effective riff that carries through the track and leads succinctly to the inspiring chant the song is based off of, “Safety” is a perfect example of the growth the band will achieve and is also the track that will inspire listeners to seek Brother’s tour dates, as live, they will surely blow more than a few minds.
The final song, “Tetris”, is a sort of march or ode to the previous fifty-odd minutes of musical extravaganza. Beautifully uplifting and perfectly supplied with heart and emotional connectivity, “Tetris” is the only way they could end such an odyssey: with gusto and soul.