From title alone one can discern this record isn’t lacking in some sort of charm; tongue firmly in cheek, frat boy frippery or playful lack of reverence for dead jazzers, perhaps? The Brothers Nylon have spread themselves across several types of toast (melba, French and spelt loaf, perhaps) and flung it all at the listener.
First thing that grabbed me is the Les Claypool (of Primus and other egotistical splinter projects), Residents and Zappa (Frank, not Dweezel thankfully) feel of it all. All the tracks are crammed with ideas from funk, jazz and fusion, but there’s a strong punkfulness running throughout. I don’t mean a four-chord oi-along, more of a strident and unabashed confidence. Further, this attitude isn’t restricted to the frankly ridiculous musicality on show, or even the verging-on-infantile humour, but the production values as well. Presentation is thick and lavish, with hearty bass up front in the mix, lashings of reverb on the vocals and sometimes painful horn honks.
A brief look over the track names will either amuse or cause a roll of the eyes (criminally unknown bizarro metal-funk band Nuclear Rabbit cause the same response in my friends). Titles on this record such as “CousCous”, “Hot Sauce” and “Local Fruit And Veg Emporium” provide the food fetish, while “Shove It In My Mouth”, “Girls Just Like To Party” and “All Man Milk” provide the brazen maleness (reminiscent in concept to some of Parliament’s sleazier tracks), but the strong opener “Khaleesi” will be the acid test for most listeners, I feel. Having little interest in Game of Thrones after Sean Bean was de-headified at the close of season one, I wondered whether I would care about the record. The Brother’s revelling in destroying the po-facedness of the eponymous Queen of Dragons provoked a sigh of relief, as I’m sure any rabid protective reverence to a TV program would’ve been the deathnail for me. That’s enough conceptual stuff.
Musically, expect strong riffs on the strings, sometimes slick, sometimes grinding. Uncompromising use of guitar effects makes this a constantly shifting creature. The bass is the real star for me, efficient when it needs to be, percussive at other times, but always the core driving force. The drums and percussion inject a massive shot of excitement throughout, breaking moments of calm and pushing the intricate nature of the other parts. And finally, the vocals are joyfully bold, with crooning, Barry White sleaze, spoken skits and screeching. There’s lots going on here, and The Brothers are certainly a talented bunch. I’d hope that even if you had your sense of humour pummelled to bits by your own musical snobbishness (remember when music was fun, Simon?) I hope you can still recognise talented gits when you hear them.
Even if you don’t like it, they probably don’t care, and that is the rogueish charm of this record.