Monday 13 April 2015

Brotherhood - Till Death...


1. The Deal
2. Breaking The Ice
3. Stolen Mind
4. Gain
5. Three Things
6. Till Death
7. Courage
8. No Tolerance (For Ignorance)
9. Support
10. Get Involved
11. Won't Turn Our Backs

When I first started collecting vinyl I found myself buying a lot of SXE and Youth Crew records, by bands like xCurraheex and Truth Inside. I'm not straight edge myself but I love the music and the positive message that those bands portray. Brotherhood came to my attention recently thanks to this release via Southern Lord and Overkill Records in September 2014. I had no idea about the band's history either, until I read that they were formed only a year after my birth and included members that went on to form some of rock and punks most seminal bands. Now with the release of this collection of 7" and demo material, they're making their way back into people's consciousness and are doing their bit to champion awesome like-minded bands in the process. 

The songs contained on Till Death.. came from an era when hardcore and more specifically the straight-edge scene was vibrant and not overly contaminated by copyists. The music and the attitude wasn’t watered down or plagiarised. Brotherhood provides a snapshot in time to that era with their brand of fast and off-kilter hardcore. They mix punchy and brief songs like opener The Deal (from the No Tolerance For Ignorance 7”, 1989) with more expressively structured ones like Breaking The Ice (from the Brotherhood Of Friends demo, also in 1989). The songs featured on this compilation are from those two early releases and the track list is the same as the one that appeared on the Crucial Response comp, Words Run..As Thick As Blood!. Brotherhood’s influence can be heard in a lot of more recent punk and hardcore bands, such as early Gallows and the bands I mentioned at the top of this review. I can definitely hear similarities in songs like Stolen Mind and Gain. The remastering job that’s been done on these songs takes none of their original feel away, The instruments and vocals sound real and emotive as they would have done at the time. Brotherhood use Three Things and the title-track demonstrate their forward-thinking approach while Courage and No Tolerance (For Ignorance) act as rallying cries for disenchanted youth and for those who want to make a change. That goes for the comp as a whole though! It’s cool to hear how much they packed into their songs, with the final trio of Support, Get Involved and Won’t Turn Our Backs being furious anthems.While my review doesn’t say anything that hasn’t already been said about Brotherhood and their music, this band have to be respected for what they achieved and for the positive focus they brought to hardcore punk. This remastered comp will bring them to new fans and is another important piece of hardcore’s history that’s been documented. 

Stream Till Death... here:-

Various digital, vinyl and merchandise packages can be purchased via Southern Lord's bandcamp page above.

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