Luring ears and imagination into the sultry climate and shadows of the Wild West on a funk infused wave of melodic and lyrical adventure, To The Border! is a highly suggestive and seriously captivating encounter everyone deserves to treat themselves to. Released by Browlin, the album offers up the smouldering melodic artistry of Morricone, the dark honesty of Johnny Cash, and the lyrical conjuring and prowess of Helldorado with the vocal suggestiveness of Rooster Cole for extra spice. The result, something as unique and magnetic as you could wish for.
Browlin is the latest moniker of Oliver Brown who previously was engineer and studio manager at Skint, where he gained Top 40 credits, hit 2m views on YouTube and was part of the incredible success of artists such as Fatboy Slim. With his new project, Brown has moved away from his electronic past to immerse in heartfelt picturesque songwriting embracing indie and funk imagination upon Latin honed rhythms and emotions. To the Border! is the result of his exploration, an encounter which infests ears and imagination like the dirt and hot atmospheres its song’s premise’s and climates suggest.
The album opens up with Border and an immediate cinematic strum of guitar, it’s coaxing quickly joined by darker tones of bass and those Latin inspired beats. Lone harmonies and the subsequent vocal touch of Brown soon add to the already evocative prowess of the song, its lively canter taking the appetite in tow with little trouble. With keys joining the Mexican hued saga the track makes for a compelling start though it is soon eclipsed by the following Pieces. Brown’s gravelly hum aligns to another single melodic lure to open up the song, his vocals and words swiftly seducing the imagination as the guitar soon after leads into a bass and keys driven slice of melancholic funk ‘n’ roll. Even without electronic essences, there is a touch of The The to the track, even as it induces hips to swing and feet to eagerly shuffle.
Its success is matched by the earthy majesty of All My Days and in turn the flaming revelling of There’s Always A Way. The first of the pair keenly walks and then bounds through ears, more flirtatious rhythms seizing body and spirit as vocals and melodies paint a brooding yet warmly alluring picture. Virulently catchy with keys and harmonies bordering salacious, the outstanding track is matched in majesty by its successor, a Cajun-esque dance with spicy harmonica and woozy melodies within a climate of moonshine fuelled, and inspired carnival.
The thrills and seduction continue at an already irresistible level as Big Deal romances the senses with its Th’ Legendary Shack Shakers meets Chris Isaak swing next. Once more the harmonica almost burns its way into the passions while a thickly appetising soak of discord invades guitar and tone. It is an off kilter pleasure transforming into the haunting and fiery beauty of All About Us without a breath being shared. The new song slips under the skin within seconds, its repetitive hooks and melodic bait as enslaving as Brown’s vocal craft and expression and in turn the orchestral weight of an increasingly epic encounter.
I Sit Alone allows the body to at least rest next, it’s smouldering entrance with female sighs the canvas for the reflective declaration of Brown. You can almost see him sitting on the front porch of a barren land sitting shack or under the moonlight against a hanging tree as he pours out his heart. It is a dark and maudlin moment which subsequently evolves into a funk nurtured shuffle, rhythms and guitar entangling in a brewing descriptive sound and hopeful suggestiveness taken to new heights by the gorgeous landscape of following instrumental Death In Mexico. The piece is glorious, cinematic melodic poetry Morricone himself would be proud of and a track as intimate as it is visually vast.
To The Border! concludes with firstly Well I Never, another superb swinging incitement for ears and imagination with a whiff of Talking Heads to it and lastly On The Bank, a final fascination of sound, voice, and word bringing the album to a mighty close.
Not really aware of Brown’s previous work as such, all we can say is thank goodness he has ventured into new adventures through Browlin because quite simply To The Border! is an album bringing a new creative emprise to the whole music scene.
To The Border! is out now via Rife Records across most online stores.
Pete RingMaster 25/08/2016
Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright