Reviews and Suggestions

CD Review: The Brothers Union “Silhouettes”

There’s something about the bond between two siblings when it comes to doing things together. With two brothers or sisters or one of each share the same type of mindset, there’s something special that two random people cannot match. So when it comes to creating music together, two brothers will most likely create something special. And that’s just how it is with the band called The Brothers Union.

The Brothers Union is a quartet that is composed of not just one set of brothers, but two. Mike (guitar/vocals) and Sean (bass/vocals) O’Reilly is one half of the band while Alec (drums) and Jon (guitar) Wagstaff make up the other half of the ensemble. Together, the two sets of brothers are currently busy creating a whole lot of music. The reason for that is because of the fact that aside from two earlier releases, the band of The Brothers Union has released not one but two EPs of music within the last year and still has one more EP on the way that is due for release in just a few days.

It was back in early 2018 that The Brothers Union released their four-song EP entitled Little Blue Room. Later in the year, the quartet would release a three-song EP called Paper Hearts. With both of these releases, the band ended up creating songs that contain a Rock and Roll feel to the music that alternates between straight-out Rock and Roll influenced by the music of the eighties, and songs that fall into the Alternative genre and contain a sound that feels a lot more melodic in nature.

The most recent two releases from the band known as The Brothers Union feature the entire band of Mike and Sean O’Reilly and Alec and Jon Wagstaff. However, the newest two-song release from the band entitled Silhouettes comes with a completely different style as well as lineup. The tracks for the EP of Silhouettes from The Brothers Union feature only the brothers of Mike and Sean O’Reilly as they create two tracks as a duo.

Silhouettes from The Brothers Union begins with the track “Bluebird”. As the music for the song of “Bluebird” is simply the sound of the guitar and vocals, a certain amount of simplicity is present. That simplicity helps to create a gentle feeling to the track. That gentle approach helps add to the emotional aspect of the track as the song revolves around the idea of a relationship that the singer is wishing would grow into something even stronger. While the track contains nothing but vocals and guitar, the emotional feeling of the lyrics makes up for the lack of fullness to the music. That emotional feeling in the lyrics and the rather intimate feel to the music make the song feel like it would be the perfect track for the first dance at a wedding. 

The Brothers Union’s newest two-song release of Silhouettes also includes the song “Another Remedy”. While the track “Bluebird” features certain sparseness to the music that seems to fit the emotional feeling of the lyrics, the song “Another Remedy” comes across as just what it is: an unplugged acoustic track from a band whose music would fit into the Alternative Rock genre. As a matter of fact, the Acoustic Rock created on this track brings to mind two different bands at the same time as there seems to be some musical influence on the track from the likes of both The Cure and Smashing Pumpkins as the listener can almost certainly hear hints of “Friday I’m In Love” from The Cure and “1979” from Smashing Pumpkins in the music. While this track is definitely a stripped down version of what the full band sound from The Brothers Union is, the track also hints that this track could easily be expanded to a full-band sound if and when both sets of brothers in The Brothers Union decide to take the next step with the track.

Speaking of taking it to the next step, this two-song EP from The Brothers Union is purported to be a preview of things to come from the band. So stay tuned as a new album from The Brothers Union is rumored to be right around the corner.  

For more information, check out The Brothers Union’s PR Firm, Whiplash Marketing & Whizkid Management. Click on the logo below to visit their site. 






Silhouettes from The Brothers Union will be available on May 14, 2019. You can find the release by clicking on the album cover below:

Reviews and Suggestions

CD Review: Young Legionnaire “Crisis Works”

While moments on Young Legionnaire’s Crisis Works sound like an indie version of The Smashing Pumpkins meets YCNI:M, the majority of the album delivers impressive post-hardcore. On the few tracks which have more of a new wave slant, the Bloc Party influence is apparent. Overall, the guitar work is a strength on this album, which is chock-full of memorably epic solos, bridges and outros. The power and drama of Crisis Works – musically, vocally and lyrically – is what really strikes the listener.

Artists and Bands

With Bloc Party on hiatus, Gordon Moakes is now focusing his energy on Young Legionnaire. Here he talks new music, being a drink and playing with Broken Social Scene

Young Legionnaire was started by Gordon Moakes (formerly of Bloc Party) and Paul Mullen (formerly of The Automatic/Yourcodenameis:milo) who met when they worked on a track called “Wait a Minute” for Milo’s collaboration album, Print Is Dead. Two years later, Young Legionnaire formed, having picked up drummer Dean Pearson along the way.

The band released a single on Holy Roar Records in August, which featured two songs, “Colossus” and “Iron Dream,” and their first full-length album is expected to come out in February or March of 2011 on Witchita.

The songs off the single are truly epic alt rock masterpieces. There is a calculated kind of rawness present. Young Legionnaire’s music may be seen as new post-hardcore, on account of the softer, sweeter moments juxtaposed with the heavier ’90s-esque sounds. After Gordon Moakes mentioned the Smashing Pumpkins and Pavement, two of my favourite bands of the past, it made sense that Young Legionnaire is responsible for the best new music I’ve heard in ages.

Reviews and Suggestions

CD Review: The SSRIs “Effeminate Godzilla-Sized Wind Chimes”

The SSRIs’s often spastic songs mimic manic-depressive tendencies. Highs and lows – a chaotic muddle of emotions, from anger and excitement to lucid periods of sentimentality. In an instant they go from panic attack to a popped anti-anxiolytic and back, and back again, bringing to mind the notion that “mental” is half of the word “sentimental.” If you are seeking some new urgently heavy, but far from straight-forward music, this is the release to check out.

Genre-wise, the SSRIs refuse to fit into any simple category. They now refer to their music as noise-pop; elements of both melody and noise are crucial to their sound. I see it as collage-y, wired post-punk. Stretches of freak-outs followed by chill-outs. It reminds me at times of Die! Die! Die! and the way they play with time signatures is reminiscent of math rockers North of America and Q And Not U. Other listeners have compared the SSRIs to Fugazi, Micachu and the Shapes, Blood Brothers, Health, Liars and the Cardiacs.

Artists and Bands

Heavy MTL: Back and louder than ever

After disappointing Quebec metal fans last year, Heavy MTL returned to Parc Jean-Drapeau on July 24 and 25, much to the delight of the head-banging faithful. With thirty-four bands booked over two days, Saint Helen’s Island, located between Montreal and Longueil, was packed with long-haired, tattoo-covered, beer-drinking metalheads worshiping their rock Gods.

Saturday, July 24, sunny skies and a million degrees outside, yours truly took in the action. The day’s lineup sported some old heavyweights like Slayer, Megadeath, Rob Halford from Judas Priest, and the ageless Alice Cooper. Scanning the crowd, most of the attendees were clearly too young to have actually been alive when most of these bands were in their prime. But metal fans don’t care what your latest hit is, they just want a tonsil-bleeding good time. And that’s what they got.


‘Family of the Year’ now charm crowds everywhere they go, but it all started with a chance encounter outside an LA bar

l_67e134b9652c41548beae4df18be9a90It’s not often you come across a band that has, yes, six members. On top of that two are dating, two are brothers, and it still all manages to work out wonderfully. Sound impossible? Not for California’s Family of the Year who are one such band. The self-professed indie-rock-folk-Americana songsters have just released their debut album, Songbook, and seem to be charming their way onto everyone’s iPod. If you haven’t heard them yet, SPIN Magazine recommends that you do – and so does The Rock and Roll Report.

The band consists of: Vanessa Jeanne Long (vocals), Joe Beaulieu Keefe (Vocals & Guitar), Sebastian Keefe (Drums & Guitar), James Buckey (Keys), Christina Schroeter (Keys) and Brent Freaney (Bass). Vanessa recently phoned in for a chat about Rock Band’s (yes, the videogame) pivotal role in their formation, impossible to remember band names and actually living and feeling like a family.