Brothers frontman Ryan Moore is an indie rock junkie and also a student of music, so it’s hard to say whether it’s accident or homage—or accidental homage—that “Everything Will Own Its Thaw,” the opening track from Brothers’ new Beautiful EP, is a carbon copy, structurally and melodically, of Deerhunter’s “Cover Me (Slowly)”/”Agoraphobia” one-two punch, from that group’s 2008 LP Microcastle.
Once you get past the pastiche, it’s a pleasant track, as are the remaining three on the album, recorded at Jesse Mangum’s Glow Recording Studio and released via his EP-only label. But while Beautiful is a solid outing, it feels slight compared to last year’s Street Names EP.
Yes, there are EPs everywhere: Moore has stated that his intention with Brothers is to release a string of short albums rather than go the full-length route, a tactic many groups, especially garage and punk-oriented bands, are taking in a singles-oriented digital age. Brothers flirts with those rough edges on Beautiful, though the three and four-minute songs themselves are largely unmemorable.
Moore may reverse course, or take a new one altogether; he has already proven incredibly talented, if creatively restless. Still, perhaps counterintuitively, his best tunes to date are the most circuitous—like Street Names‘ shapeshifting title track—which leads one to wonder whether an LP might actually be a more suitable canvas for Moore’s wandering mind. 3 out of 5.
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