Review Summary: An immensely catchy album that seamlessly blends a variety of genres.
There are some occasions when a new band comes along who cover such a vast spectrum of different genres that they appeal to a wide audience of various tastes. These bands are the ones that are predominantly influenced by many other artists but despite their recent arrival, their music sounds completely unique, as if they’ve been crafting and recrafting their sound for years. Brutus, the troublesome trio from Belgium, is one of these kinds of bands and their debut album, “Burst”
, is one that oozes passionate talent and some serious potential.
One of the many admirable aspects of “Burst”
is how Brutus pack so much content into short songs without sounding bloated or unfocused. “Justice De Julia II” commences with lively, meandering riffs before succumbing to timid pattering aside the equally fragile singing, but, then the pace quickens again, after the bass briefly rumbles on its lonesome, to create a gradual crescendo of each member streamlining together in a smooth rhythm. As opposed to the crazy swirling riffs that erupt instantly during “Crack/Waste”, sudden pauses and hammering bass interludes confirm that Brutus is very much in control of their zigzagging song structures. Even during the calmer songs like “Drive”, Brutus find a way to establish ethereally expansive soundscapes while simultaneously filling this space with a fierce stomping riff and commendable vocals from Stefanie Mannaerts.
As well as providing Brutus with an excellent voice, Stefanie also exhibits vigorous drumming that always complements the shifting pace the band plays to. Her drums explode alongside Stijn Vanhoegaerden’s springy riffs to create a wild, kaleidoscopic setting during the Mastodon-like album opener, “March”. Subsequently, “All Along” follows suit and treads down a similarly rocky pathway down deescalating riffs and yelling vocal hooks with Peter Mulder’s anchoring bass providing hefty support during the brief wall of sound. What makes “Burst”
sound so attractively energetic is its undemanding nature and that every track is brimming with its own kind of vigour. “Horde II” is as straight forward as Brutus get: gambolling riffs, pounding drums and a huge vocal presence- simple as that. Brutus is a band where what you hear is what you get, and they want you to get grooving.
Aside from the dynamism “Burst”
displays, it is a multifaced album as a number of different genres are painted into this album’s vibrant landscape. Punk being the main driving force, half of the songs are under 3 minutes and each features Stefanie’s raw delivery, occasionally cracking under the genuinely passionate wails in songs such as “Looking for Love on Devils Mountain”. These pleasant imperfections and straightforward singing underlines Brutus’ punk/hardcore influences. Captivating shoegaze-y atmospheres are also a prominent feature of the album where the melodies in songs such as “Bird” and “Child” drift freely around contrasting weighty bass and intense drums. Sometimes the bass, drums, guitars and vocal hooks will bind together at the same level of intensity, like on tracks such as “Not Caring”, thus creating a ferocious atmosphere rather than an airy, leisurely tone.
is a brilliantly appropriate title for an album that is packed full of liveliness and talent so much so that its energetic charisma spurts out and covers you with its animated influence. Moreover, the title is equally fitting since this band has erupted almost completely out of the blue. Brutus’ sound is incomparable to a single other artist and considering the fact they originated as a tribute band to Refused, they are already building their own unique meandering path, which other upcoming bands can certainly learn from.