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Published: 2011/06/07
by Jeremy Sanchez

Younger Brother
Vaccine

SCI Fidelity

Younger Brother has revamped itself. No longer is this purely an electronic rave group, they now showcase proper songs and melodies that are primed for jam friendly audiences in the current tour scene. Band mate Simon Posford has commented that 2005’s Camp Bisco was the band’s first introduction to the welcoming jamband scene, and the band branched in new musical directions after realizing the potential auditory offshoots that jam audiences tend to be open to absorbing. Although Younger Brother already has a dedicated foundation of fans, that base is sure to enjoy the new dose, while the band’s newfound audiences will enjoy their fresh injection of Younger Brother. Their latest sound demands a new band structure, and Younger Brother has sucked in some heavyweights; joining Younger Brother are the musical talents of bassist Marc Brownstein (Disco Biscuits), guitarist Tom Hamilton (Brothers Past), and drummer Joe Russo (Benevento Russo Duo, Furthur).

Younger Brother’s ventures into new soundscapes could have resulted in a stumble, but the band has landed soundly. This is a band that isn’t afraid to throw a little of everything into the cauldron as it’s boiling, and the resulting potion is altogether better for the list of unique ingredients. From the pop laced “Shine,” through the vacuous intro of the elegantly abrasive “Pound a Rhythm,” and the kazoo sporting “Safety in Numbers” (all running back to back on Vaccine ), Younger Brother’s far-flung influences are palpable and mix together brilliantly.

The beautiful “Night Lead Me Astray” flows perfectly over a drum track inspired by Joe Russo’s loss of his wisdom teeth and the requisite dose of Vicodin that follows such a surgery; here’s to inspiration from various muses. “Train” is a song about the fleeting journey of life, this time mused to existence while band mate Ruu Campbell streaked down a train track (hence the metaphor) towards the band’s studio. Sometimes, the greatest muses are simply artists of the past. Before even looking at the album’s band-provided song descriptions, I thought that “Spinning Into Place” sounded an awful lot like something Pink Floyd might have produced, and low and behold, the band mentions Pink Floyd as a band that is an undeniable influence on this particular track. The band’s write up on the expansively airy song goes on to say that, “In fact it’s inevitable” that Floyd would find a way into the music. Don’t write off this track as some rip off; it’s just that the band has paid credit to a giant that has nurtured its strong roots. As a final note on those seeds that inspire creation, “Tetris” is again a track inspired by modern medicine. This ethereal track is “supposed to invoke the feeling of waking up from anesthetic.” Personally, having never been through such an invasive moment, I cannot vouch for the claim; if this is a true auditory representation of the experience, I guess I’d go into it with little fear. Hopefully waking up from surgery is truly like waking up with Younger Brother in your ear.

Everything else aside, the band’s rave-heavy past and its list of influences, Vaccine finds an already successful band opening its arms to a new team of potential fans. Some audiences shut off to trance music, simply for its lack of lyric. Younger Brother’s traditional fans can breathe easy for the band’s new directions, because they are both representative of their origins, while tastefully exploratory of where the band might find itself on its own train ride through life. It’s altogether too easy to just live in a rut of comfort, but Younger Brother has taken a giant leap off of the track. Hopefully its fan base is loyal enough to hang on, because these guys are simply moving wherever life demands their attention.

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