Sour Bruthers release self-titled EP

Sour Bruthers release self-titled EP


The first studio release from Windy City based quartet Sour Bruthers is a self titled six song outing highlighting what they dub “sourlicious rock with a country twang”. Founders and brothers Bill and Tim Sour are the heart of the band, naturally, but their band mates guitarist Mikey A and drummer Tony Lunni contribute mightily to the band’s signature blend of Americana influences. The band’s musical identity is much closer to an all-encompassing roots rock label than it is landing more squarely in a specific style and they impressively mine these long-standing forms for new reserves of creativity while maintaining a close fidelity to their original spirit. They manages to communicate, as well, their live energy over the course of these six songs and it’s soon apparent why they’ve amassed a reputation as one of the most popular young live acts working on the scene today.

“Sinkin’ Down” grabs your attention immediately thanks to Lunni’s muscular kit work and bassist Bill Sour makes for an excellent rhythm section partner with his sympathetic bass work. The presence of slide guitar in the song is, naturally, a relatively standard trope of tunes like this, but the Sour Bruthers make it mean something as opposed to merely adorning the song with meaningless tinsel. “Better Days” is a much more uptempo number and more apparently radio-friendly than the opener, but they don’t sound like a band who sacrifices anything integral to their sound in pursuing a more commercial direction. If anything, it’s indicative of their ability to present a broad based musical attack rather than one constrained to follow a blues rock path alone. “3 a.m.” further illustrates the band’s somewhat surprising, but refreshing, diversity. It’s a good sign that the band isn’t willing to allow themselves to be pigeonholed into one approach and, instead, crave the opportunity for taking chances like this.

They do return to that blues rock sound with the EP’s next two tracks. “All I Want” has a strong roots rock vibe from the first notes on while the EP’s penultimate tune, “Wash Away”, relies on a central riff more clearly than any other song on this self-titled debut. They’ve got a great vocalist for pulling these sort of tunes off, but another key factor in their success is their tasty vocal harmonies that contrast well with their often biting music attack. It’s particularly notable that, despite the obvious chops they possess, there’s never really any would be virtuoso moments on this EP. They take few instrumental breaks, really, and instead resolutely serve their songwriting each time out. Few songs make this more evident than the finale “Release Me” – this is a song that you could plug into a number of styles and the band manages to recall them all without ever dumbing down their content or pandering to audiences. Each of these six songs succeeds because of that and so much more. Sour Bruthers are winners in every way and their self titled debut sets the stage for what’s sure to be an impressive run.

Michael Rand

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