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Brigade - Will Be Will Be Album Cover
Author's Rating
Vocals 8.75
Musicianship 9
Lyrics 7.75
Production 7
Creativity 8
Lasting Value 8.5
Reviewer Tilt 9.25
Final Verdict: 83%
Member Ratings
Vocals 8.75
Musicianship 8.75
Lyrics 7.25
Production 9.25
Creativity 8.5
Lasting Value 8.5
Reviewer Tilt 9.5
Average: 86%
Inside AP.net

Brigade - Will Be Will Be

Reviewed by: Broden Terry (07/19/11)
Brigade - Will Be Will Be
Record Label: Homespun Records
Release Date: May 30th, 2011

It's slightly disheartening and disappointing to realize that after two quality full-length releases, London based quartet Brigade are still vastly unknown and under appreciated within the music industry to this point. Lights, their 2006 debut, showcased a band who were surprisingly assured, composed and yet in a drastic contrast, they also showed unmistakable glimpses of heavy ambition and subtle spontaneity. Tracks such as "Queenie" and "Meet Me At My Funeral" displayed flashes of savage aggression, unpredictable structures and an unconventionally rough and distorted production that certainly heightened the overall energy and blisteringly frenetic pace of the record. Their sophomore effort, 2008's Come Morning We Fight was a more subdued and restrained collection of tracks that wandered dangerously close to modern radio rock territory. However, it was a distinct improvement in all facets of their debut with the absolutely gorgeous and stunning, "Four Kids To A Glockenspiel" implementing the use of a breathtaking string section, "Together Apart" and "Stunning" providing enormously uplifting and accessible choruses with lovely sing-along verses, and the heavy, pulsating vibes of "Res Head" all on display.

Brigade are now back and set to embark on the release of their third album, and first in conjunction with Pledge Music, Will Be Will Be. Once again it serves as a delicate balance between the youthful exuberance and emotive undertones of their debut and the more accessible, hook-laden structures of its successor. As a result of finding this careful balance, Brigade have opted to play to their strengths and have catered to their already established fanbase without feeling the need and pressure to step outside of their sizable comfort zones. The album kicks off with the urgent and rhythmic "200 Scratches", featuring a grandiose opening complete with pulsating drumbeats and irresistibly heavy riffs. Will Simpson's powerful and equally passionate vocal delivery is pushed reluctantly deep into the mix as he continually vies to be heard over the frenetic instrumentation that takes centre stage for the majority of the track's elapsing three and a half minute duration. Although itís undeniably a solid album opener, the lack of a memorable hook or redeeming chorus keeps it from reaching any significant heights that it might otherwise have potentially reached.

"A Heinous Crime With Draconian Consequences" slows the tempo down slightly with an opening verse that showcases the profound vocal prowess of Simpson as his vocals waltz, weave and intertwine with thick, heavy bass lines and chords. It isn't long before prominent distorted guitars and infrequently used delay pedals enter into proceedings to create a palpable sense of tension within the emotionally charged lead-in to Brigade's signature enormous chorus. "Eden" then expands on where its predecessor left off by opening and beginning with elegant, shimmering introductory major key notes before being deflowered by unsavory distortion and chord progressions. Will Simpson once again delivers a sublime vocal performance, leaving one to question whether his vocals are arguably more suited to carrying the lighter, less intense and harmonious pop oriented tracks the album contains. With confidence, conviction and the assistance of dual layered gang vocal effects he sings the spirited chorus with soaring and utterly captivating precision, "In the middle of a blackout, baby / you made the wrong decision, tore us apart / 'cause we are in Eden".

By now readers, newcomers, and returning fans alike should have obtained a somewhat accurate representation as to what Brigade have aimed to achieve with the release of Will Be Will Be. There are gorgeous and hooky melodies, largely unproduced high rising harmonies, and energetic and predominantly up-tempo verses that culminate in memorable choruses - all accompanied by heavy instrumentation ever present in the background. That's not to say this is the only song formula you're likely to come across during the album's forty-five minute duration. In fact, when Brigade flirt enticingly with wandering outside their comfort zone, the highlights immediately ensue, and at times seemingly eventuate with effortless ease. "Adieu" for instance, contains graceful and sophisticated guitar work akin to melodic post-hardcore, but wrapped up invitingly in a wonderfully catchy three minute pop song. The vocal layering during the chorus is sensational as Simpson's vocals are divided up into lower, higher and middle range notes before being pieced together seamlessly in order to perform a tight and compelling interplay. "The Beating" signals a brief, yet nonetheless welcome and inviting, return to the Lights era as wailing guitars, rolling riffs and anguished vocals come to the forefront and more than make up for a few uncreative and half-hearted lyrics ("Face to face for a beating / you'll amount to nothing more / you'll amount to nothing more now") that unfortunately accompany it.

As the record reaches its middle to latter stages, the memorable moments and exceptional highlights become more frequent. "From Nothing Something Comes" is absolutely breathtaking with its haunting opening verse and minor key melodies guiding the track along in a rather solemn, restrained fashion. Almost out of nowhere the song escalates beautifully into a passionate and equally energetic chorus where Simpson takes complete ascendancy with melodic shouts of vulnerability and desperation, "Lately, I have foresight before what I can't see / I am your yes to every maybe / and I need you now more than I ever did". "Laughter Lines" proves to be a dramatic and sudden unexpected shift with its predominantly soft, gentle and intimate approach to instrumentation and songwriting. It offers a rare moment of reflection and melancholy, as is best exemplified with the lyrics depicting an individual traumatized and attempting to move on from a devastating loss - and in turn searching for answers to piercingly honest, unanswerable questions. "We see it best when we live it backwards / we will stay in silence and I won't move another inch / for the sense in science, I have beliefs I can't believe".

The album closes with a stunning finale in the form of "Find Your Own Way Home", a six minute gem where the track blasts out of the gates with all the explosiveness and intensity it can possibly muster for the initial three minutes. Thereafter the instrumentation slowly and gradually descends into a quiet, formulated and orchestrated structure for another two minutes before once again losing all semblance of control, and eventually succumbing to unformulated chaos. The final minute is rendered stunning with wailing guitars and a heavy soundscape of instruments piled on top of one another to wonderful effect, yet in the background you can quietly hear the distant mumbles and the distorted voices of the band and their ensemble of Pledgers as their chants are continually drowned out by the music. With every chant of "find your own way home", that mumble becomes more cohesive, more united, and more desperate to struggle and fight to the forefront of the mix. Just moments before Will Be Will Be draws to its inevitable and inaudible finish, what started as a collective mumble soon becomes a monumental bludgeoning roar of unison.

Sadly, this record, Will Be Will Be, may not get the attention it deserves and warrants due to lack of press, publicity and exposure - but the talent and consistency is certainly there. The vocals are pushed back into the mix a little too far, the lyrics at times appear to be written as little more than an afterthought, and there are a few slightly forgettable tracks that haven't been mentioned as in-depth as the overwhelming amount of positives there are to be seen and heard throughout the duration of this release. Who knows, if Brigade were to tour consistently, make their way to a number of festivals in order to promote themselves to an entirely new audience, and even with a little ounce of luck they could soon be on their way to bigger and better musical endeavors.

Recommended If You LikeFightstar, Oceansize, In Case Of Fire, Melodic vocals and soaring choruses over heavy instrumentation

Additional Information1. 200 Scratches
2. A Heinous Crime With Draconian Consequences
3. Eden
4. Adieu
5. The Beating
6. From Nothing Something Comes
7. Sting, Sting
8. Laughter Lines
9. It's A Mess (If It Ain't, It'll Do 'Till A Mess Gets Here)
10. Tiny Pieces
11. Find Your Own Way Home
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Displaying posts 1 - 8 of 8.
12:31 AM on 07/19/11
#2
Broden Terry
I'm glad I built myself an igloo
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This record was definitely a grower for me, so if you check this out and don't instantly warm and connect with it, give it time!
04:46 AM on 07/19/11
#3
InfiniteArms
Best Western Beat
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Great review, Broden! I can't find this album anywhere but I'm sure I'll find it somewhere eventually
04:49 AM on 07/19/11
#4
jbwillisfan
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This record was definitely a grower for me, so if you check this out and don't instantly warm and connect with it, give it time!

i get daunted by the length of your reviews but they're so well written it feels like it passes by in a breeze once i start reading aha.
also i haven't heard this album cause i didn't pledge on it but i can't wait to check it out. the singer is the brother of charlie simpson isn't he? that's what wikipedia is telling me any way
10:05 AM on 07/19/11
#5
guidohicks
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The album is available on iTunes and getting a full release in the Autumn I believe
10:12 AM on 07/20/11
#6
Baines on Toast
So where's my Lois Lane?
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i get daunted by the length of your reviews but they're so well written it feels like it passes by in a breeze once i start reading aha.
also i haven't heard this album cause i didn't pledge on it but i can't wait to check it out. the singer is the brother of charlie simpson isn't he? that's what wikipedia is telling me any way
Yeah, he is. I'm really glad the review doesn't play on that. Brigade deserve credit for their own work, not through Charlie's.
02:16 PM on 07/25/11
#7
Andy Biddulph
Staff Writer @asbiddulph
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Great review. Yet to check this out but the score you gave it excites me.
09:31 PM on 12/30/11
#8
InfiniteArms
Best Western Beat
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This record was definitely a grower for me, so if you check this out and don't instantly warm and connect with it, give it time!
I still can't find this record anywhere. I was going to get it shipped but that would cost 3 times what the CD costs regularly.
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