Review Summary: Pure Teenage Nostalgia.
On a drive back home from my high school baseball game in 2007, me and a few other players stopped by a local bar and grill to talk about the great game we just played. The game was long and exhausting, and I needed the break after a straight hour of driving. After taking a seat in the back corner of the bar, I tried my best to avoid the alcohol that my friends consumed with utter angst. I sighed, and began looking for some entertainment. To my left was a barren stage, only occupied by a few amps and broken microphone stands, I searched for a clock, and found one right above my drunk friends’ head. The clock read 8:30, but my mind believed it was midnight. I sighed, and put my head on the table after ordering my meal.
A moment of silence passed by, and in an instant an acoustic guitar kicked in. My head jolted upwards, and my eyes searched the room for a moment. My friends were still drinking away, but they were also looking towards the stage, cheering. I became curious, and let my ears listen to the melody of the guitar. Two clean cut boys sat on high chairs on the stage. One was plucking away at an acoustic guitar while the other was tapping his feet to the rhythm. The boy with the guitar was slightly bigger, with jet black hair and brown calm eyes. The other was taller and skinnier, retaining an unshaven beard and dark brown hair. A few seconds later, the boy with the guitar stopped playing for an instant, and sung the first words to a song that would stick with me forever. “Come on take a step towards me, so you can figure me out.” At this time, I was heavily into the pop-punk scene; I discovered bands such as The Get Up Kids, Saves The Day, and even some old Green Day. I cared a lot more towards emotional lyrics, while even finding the cheesy “I love you” songs entertaining. Yet, listening to this new sound astonished me, particularly with this young man’s voice. He sounded more nasally then Chris Conley from Saves the Day, yet more human and down to Earth. His voice was unique, like a needle in a hay stack.
As the song progressed, I joined my friends as we chanted along to the chorus. Even one of the younger waitresses joined in with us, shouting the same lyrics at the same tempo. It was a night to remember, and I didn’t want it to end. It was a very enjoyable song, with no drums or bass needed to back it up. After the song finished up, I asked the two boys for their group’s name. They both looked at each other for a second, and in the same voice as I heard in the first lyrics, the boy with the black hair answered with “The Scene Aesthetic”.
I later discovered that the name of the song that played was “Beauty in the Breakdown”. The memories that appear in my mind when I listen to this song are wonderful; my friends themselves were also heavily affected by the song. I talked to my old friend that was with me at the time, and he even stated that he got lyrics to the song tattooed on his arm. Listening to “Brother” reimagines those lyrics, and piece by piece reveal a whole new look on one of one of the great memories of my teenage years.
The opening song did nothing to improve my view on the band, in fact I actually disliked it at first, but then I remembered about my teenage innocence at the time. I related heavily to the lyrics at the time, yet as a more matured adult, I don’t see the beauty in lyrics such as “We were never cool and I never quite knew why”. I paused the song halfway through and began to remember what I was like as a teenager, and this is what everyone must do to enjoy “The Scene Aesthetic”. They are not complicated enough to be taken dead pan seriously, but they are complex enough to avoid straying to the cheesy side of music. The new rendition of “Beauty in the Breakdown” was filled with wonderful nostalgia, while listening to the humble yet sincere “My Humility, You Are” brought a smile to my face.
A few more tracks in, and I began to realize that there was a very low amount of acoustic tracks on the album, which kind of bummed me out. Gone were the old acoustic driven ballads, and in were the drums and electric guitars. Then comes “8 Years of Silence”, which is started off with a slow acoustic shard followed by a moonlit piano. Andrew then begins to sing softly, for the first time in the album, I felt the sincerity of his voice. Followed by Eric’s deeper voice which combines together to chant “And broken hearts aren’t sewed together, with cheap empty wood,” which then leads to a beautiful chorus. This is truly what the duo is capable of producing. Soothing melodies, and spot on vocals combine to form a great album.
With all nostalgia aside, “Brother” is a fantastic album to listen to when trying to revive memories of your younger years, songs like “Beauty in the Breakdown” and “8 Years of Silence” are beautifully composed and contain well written lyrics from a group who is continuing to age out of their youth and into adults. With time passing by every minute, we all must slow down and take into consideration how fast our glory days end, and this album has its moments that bring back memories of the good old days in pure clarity.