Brando Rising - Brando Rising (self released)
There’s an element of impending doom and high drama about the songs of new-ish Melbourne band Brando Rising on this self-released six-track EP - and that shouldn’t be a surprise. Vocalist Ripley Hood (Mushroom Planet, ex Gun Control/Funhouse) is an actor on his days off.
If you're into labels, Brando Rising’s music is a mix of post-punk hard rock, hardcore and punk. The band cites Dead Boys, Bauhaus, Fear and David Bowie among its influences and you can hear bits of them all. There’s also an echo of Massappeal at times (especially on “Sunsets”) and “Enough is Enough” takes something of its groove from the New Christs.
“Brando Rising” was recorded as a demo but the band was happy enough with the mastered product to release it. Guitarist Kelly Hewson (another former Gun Control and Funhouse member) did most of the writing.
Lyrically speaking, there are a few blind alleys leading to dead ends, but that might just be me imagning myself wandering the laneways of Melbourne in search of a post-punk cofee that isn't served by a bearded hispter in a lumberjack shirt. One man's psychosis is another man's word salad and I'm not that much of a post-punk guy.
Ripley certainly sings them like he means it. His vocal veers between brooding solo Henry Rollins (“New Wave”), Dave Vaniian (“Bullet”) and latter-day Iggy (“Dogma”.) That last one’s ironic as he also fronts Australia’s best Stooges tribute act, the Four Stooges.
The band can play. Kelly Hewson’s an inventive guitarist with a gritty tone and nice command of sustain. He channels Greg Ginn on “New Wave”and provides impressive sonic texture throughout. The more you listen the more impressive he is.
Love to hear a full album with a more expansive production and maybe a guiding hand bringing some more light and shade to the party, but this has been getting a decent spin around these parts so I have all that to look forward to. Available as a physical CD in card sleeve, you can hit up the band at a show or via Facebook.