It only seemed like yesterday that The Brutalists breezed through the door with an album that made many people sit up and pay attention as these seasoned pros (I’m sure they won’t mind that) used every sinew of nous between them to craft one of last years best debut albums. I’m pleased to announce that 2019 they’ve seen fit to put on their dapper zoot suits and loafers and jump on their Lambretta’s to deliver their sophomore album ‘We Are Not Here To Help You’.

Let’s get straight down to business with ‘Leave IT Out’ (try not to put on your best arfu Daley when saying that. It’s bright and breezy as it ducks and dives around in its pork pie hat and finest Mod fretwork.  With a nod and a wink to the ’60s rhythm and blues we’re right on it. What you might call a right solid opener.  Not spectacular and certainly not disappointing. The guitar playing is tasty and the solo is retro tastic.

It’s not about the singer its not about the image it’s about the song and These Brutalists have got a duffle bag full of ’em. Nigel Mogg guitarist/vocalist Kent Holmes, bassist Robert Cripps and vocalist/drummer Charlie Nice are knocking out a really good legacy of tunes as The Brutalists ‘If I Just Do Nothing Now’ is complimented by a really sweet rolling organ underneath the melody as that Cockney charm is given a workout.

‘Take It All Away’ gets a bit Bowie funky on us and shows that this isn’t just a one-trick pony although it fits in with the bigger picture it’s more akin to the Stones around their ‘Emotional Rescue’ phase perhaps even on the middle eight it has shades of Japan or a more pop sensible Hanoi Rocks I kid you not. ‘Something To Say’ falls outta Notting Hill in the late ’70s and no doubt Mogg gets his best Strummer happening as the band chill out and kick back. Getting a little deeper in their Ska ‘Price On Your Head’ is an excellent bit of skank as the musicians really cut loose.

If you never heard the debut and thought you might be picking up a Rock album considering the LA Guns and Quireboys connections then I suggest you take a deep breath and open your mind to new sounds because this isn’t like either this is something else entirely with elements of the Small Faces and the Clash mixed with some Rock and Roll and Ska this is a mixed bag for sure but its the sound of a band really working on their songs and delivering another impressive record ‘You Got Nothing On Me’ rocks it up to compliment the laid back vibe of the previous few tracks but essentially this is a band comfortable making music they want to hear and writing the second album of really strong material it might be lacking the instant appeal of the first one based on the fact that I expected to hear something along the lines of what they deliver and I’m glad to report that it doesn’t disappoint.

Fear not rockers because ‘Useless Information’ is a sweet little rock and roller.  If only Keith and Mick could put an album together as good as this these days fans would be drooling. The last part of the album is definitely in Stones territory and the sum up this album on the final track ‘It Was Never Meant To Be  So Easy’ well, that’s certainly what they make this Rock and Roll business sound like, It’s not a piece of piss is it? but the Brutalists make it sound like that.  I strongly suggest you at least check this out but I’d go further and say just Buy it you won’t be disappointed.

Buy We Are Not Here To Help You Here

Author: Dom Daley

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This has been a really strange review for me, it’s, in fact, the second review I’ve written for it, I scrapped the first thinking it just didn’t fit. Not easy this reviewing lark!!! I mean come on I loved the Beat, love Ska, have very definite reggae roots but something wasn’t fitting with this LP. Maybe before I heard it I had too fixed a perception of what it was going to sound like, maybe it ticked too many of my boxes and I just ran out of things to say? Who knows, but here we go the second stab.

 

Opener ‘Rebel Down’ skanks out of the speakers, Ska with a great punk edge, I can imagine the band opening with this baby and sending a venue mad. Next up “Tattoo King “slows things down with a more traditional Ska beat, grounded in the dancehall as does next up “When I call Your Name”. There’s almost a Lovers Rock lilt to “Girl and Boy”, yeah it holds on to that Ska underpinning but drifts across the reggae genres. I suppose I was expected more of the excitement generated by the beat, but let’s be honest musicians tend to gravitate towards their roots or influences.

 

Next up “Be As One” picks up the pace, but feels restrained, almost held back, but again definitely a track I can see in the live arena really exploding getting the place moving. Next up “Wrong Shoes” again skanks nicely but has that feeling of restraint, something being held back. There’s a pattern developing here!!  “Original Rudegirl Sound” again Skanks out of the speakers but doesn’t explode in the way it could. live I think this would be stunning, I just wish it didn’t feel so held back. “Why Oh Why” again hits almost a Lovers Rock vibe, only the horns hinting at its underpinning, I sound like a broken record this would sound great exploding off the stage, the dual vocals countering each other could give it a real edge. “Ska to the Beat” strays into Madness territory, but with a more traditional feel, this could almost have come out of the sixties dancehall sound in Jamaica.

 

Next up “Dirty little Liar” again hits that traditional Ska sound and in all honesty prior to next up “Way of Life” the LP had begun to lose me, this to me is probably the stand out track on the LP, it kicks some serious ass, skankin’ as it should but then we drift with “Way I love you” and “Woulda Coulda Shoulda”.

 

Now if you’ve read this far you’d probably think, well is it a good LP or not? Truth is I’m really not sure what I think. As a traditional Ska LP, it ticks every box, live I can really see it sending a venue into a frenzy, as the band did at this year’s Rebellion Festival. But for me something’s not quite right it feels restrained, almost lacking in confidence, not quite sure of its place or time, almost held back, let the fucker explode!!!! This could be immense.  I suppose that’s why I’ve written this twice, live it would be absolutely immense but on LP it hasn’t quite done it for me.

Buy Rude Rebels Here 

Author: Neville Brooks