Wednesday 8 April 2015

Brothers of the Sonic Cloth - 'Brothers of the Sonic Cloth' (Album Review)

Album Type: Full Length
Date Released: 16/2/2015
Label: Neurot Recordings

‘Brothers of the Sonic Cloth’ CD//DD//LP track listing:

1. Lava
2. Empires of Dust
3. Unnamed
4. La Mano Pederosa
5. I Am

Brothers of the Sonic Cloth is:

Tad Doyle | Vocals, Guitars
Peggy Doyle | Bass
Dave French | Drums


Brothers of the Sonic Cloth just released their self-titled debut album and it sure is something else. At a running time of 44 minutes the album slowly moves forward as though the songs are being weighed down by their sheer sonic mass. There is a lot of space in the music, but that doesn’t mean that there’s much room to breathe. Listening to this slab of wax means surrendering yourself to the thunderous plodding of bassist Peggy Doyle and drummer Dave French, as well as the soaring guitars and layers upon layers of guttural vocals by band leader Tad Doyle. Brothers of the Sonic Cloth will knock the wind out of you, help you back up, and then do it all over again.

The initial blow to the diaphragm is “Lava,” a song with the shortest running time and the fastest delivery. It starts out with a tight march on the snare drum followed by a pummelling bass line and chainsaw guitars. Doyle’s vocals scream for help from deep within the mix as though he, too, is being swallowed by the band’s overbearing presence. With every menacing stroke of the guitar or crash of the cymbal, the dark, subdued atmosphere spreads slowly like the currents in a tarpit. And to think, the mood that Brothers of the Sonic Cloth have set in “Lava” is simply an introduction to what is yet to come.

As far as tempo is concerned, the band abandoned that the moment “Lava” ended. The following track, “Empires of Dust,” laboriously trudges forward through its eight minutes of running time. With the next song, “Unnamed,” Doyle and company find themselves in a painfully slow groove that, even though it’s a downer, displays sense of triumph, like the band was determined to find a light at the end of the tunnel. But such a journey is never easy and this becomes apparent during the song’s conclusion when a struggle emerges between two treacherous forces. The struggle continues through the album’s climax, “La Mano Poderosa,” and had the band performed “I Am” from a pulpit, every church within earshot would have spontaneously burned to the ground. The militant drums in this song’s intro are a languid call for reinforcements while Doyle sings the album’s most haunting lyrics, “dying is easy, it takes strength to breathe. For the strong to go on, sometimes you’ve got to bleed.” How appropriate.

This album is not one for the light hearted. Brothers of the Sonic Cloth are heavy, thunderous and aggressive. There’s no sense that the band is trying to spread any demonic messages but the themes – both musically and lyrically – certainly deal with the hellish aspects of fighting death and the afterlife.  There is a journey that this album takes, a motif of sorts, and with every spin of the disc, it becomes increasingly apparent. It is an album that keeps giving and the more it gives, the better it gets.

Words by: Victor Van Ommen 

‘Brothers of the Sonic Cloth’ is available here

For more information:


Sat April 18, 2015 - Seattle, WA - Columbia City Theater: Release Show w / Lesbian & Grenades [ info ] [ tickets ]
Thurs May 21, 2015 - Chop Suey - Seattle, WA w/ Bali Girls
Fri May 22, 2015 - Dante's - Portland, OR w/ Atriarch, Rabbits
Sat May 23, 2015 - Sacramento, CA - Starlight Lounge
Sun May 24, 2015 - San Francisco, CA - Parkside
Wed May 27, 2015 - Albuquerque, NM - Sister
Thurs May 28, 2015 - Denver, CO - Hi Dive
Fri May 29, 2015 - Salt Lake City, UT - Metro Bar
Sat May 30, 2015 - Boise, ID - Neurolux