Album Review: Elder Brother – Stay Inside
Release date: May 18, 2018 via Pure Noise Records.
When Elder Brother’s Dan Rose visited his hometown, it started the lyrical process for the duo’s new record Stay Inside. The suffering of heroin addiction is the driving force behind most of the lyrical content on Elder Brother’s sophomore album which is the follow up of Dan Rose’s (Daybreaker) and Kevin Geyer’s (The Story So Far) debut record Heavy Head (2014) and the EP Wish You Were Here (2015).
Stay Inside brings us in softly with “Greatest Hit” a soothing sombre instrumental easing us into the next track “No Reason”. The vocals on this track are very reminiscent of the Indie band Everything Everything, the pre-chorus sees a drop-in dynamic with only the bass and drums accompanying the vocals. “Your hands are freezing, and you just stopped breathing” is what you hear as the song suddenly becomes engulfed by an infectious melody, bittersweetness sinks in due to the cathartic nature – a very prominent feeling throughout this record.
The vibe flows strongly throughout the next track “You and Me Forever”, however “Weak Days” sees the duo’s songwriting skills push ahead via spacious, flowing, dreamy guitar parts. The lyrics on “Weak Days” are almost romanticised, but are a deep-rooted metaphor for missing heroin.
“Unnatural History” cracks in with a jaunty groove while the overall sound drops during the chorus compared to the energetic bounciness present in the verse. All is made up for as we get a cheesy eighties repeating lead riff before leading into a joyous loosely played solo passage, which runs out of gas quickly.
The relaxed vibes continue throughout the second half of the record “I Don’t Miss You” enters in with a snappy riff as the catchiness remains. “Earthbound” sees Dan deliver a very earnest vocal performance, “Now twice a year we bury our friends” flows out gracefully as the emotion in Dan’s voice continues to build and build throughout the following passages gently building towards a crescendo; as it floods in through a weeping solo delivered by Kevin Geyser. Disappointingly when the crescendo fades, instrumentation carries on cutting off what would have been a brilliant ending.
Overall the record sees duo Dan Rose and Kevin Geyser pushing their musicianship to new levels; however, the record is forgettable and drags in places and a few tracks would benefit from being slightly shorter. But when it clicks, it is on high form, and they have potential to deliver something great on their next outing.
Stay Inside Tracklist
1. Greatest Hit
2. No Reason
3. You & Me Forever
5. Unnatural History
6. Weak Days
7. Wish You Were Here
8. I Don’t Miss You
11. I Don’t Think It Stops