Wednesday, February 23, 2011
Downtown Brown - Grabbleton's Beach
What a long fucking album. I think punk has spoiled me with such short songs and short releases. I'm used to just reviewing something that's like 2-10 songs, and like 14 minutes overall. But, Downtown Brown is all, "fuck that shit, Idle. We've recorded over an hour of material for you fuckers to dance to." So now I'm sitting here all, "I wanted to review it, so now I'm going to have to, despite the great length." Downtown Brown. What you know 'bout that?
Downtown Brown (DTB) are a three piece band from over in Michigan. They play a blend of whatever they want, really. I guess there's elements of ska, funk, punk, rock n roll, pop, and whatever else you can think of. Overall, there's no borrowed style. I wouldn't compare them to anyone I've ever heard, or you've probably ever heard. They're their own thing, and it's such a beautiful thing.
They're also three of the coolest dudes you could ever meet. My friends and I drove up to Michigan just to see them play one time, and it was the first time we ever saw them play. They played an amazing set with frontman Neil (Neebo) wearing xmas pajamas, bassist Ryan rocking a kickass beard, and their drummer Danny looking like the normal guy in the band. After this show, they inquired about playing in Cincinnati, and we booked them a show playing with us at the old Bike Haus (cool hipster punx place that doesn't exist anymore) and they rocked that shit too. Now their new full length is out so they can finally rock your shit too.
Grabbleton's Beach sounds like a weird album title to begin with, so why shouldn't the music also be weird? "Dr. Mantis" starts off the album with a cool tradition ska vibe mixed with some heavy power chords followed by some weird guitar tone paired with some killer bass (although the bass is a little too quiet for my taste). There's even a breakdown in this song at one point. There's no vocals however, you'll have to wait until the weirdness kicks in with the title track "Grabbleton's Beach". What the fuck is going on here? There's a girl singing along with the cookie monster, I think. Then Neil comes in to share his vocal splendor on top of some beachy sounding instrumentals and more of this chick singing along confusedly in the background. Where is Grabbleton's Beach, though? Seriously, Neebo. There's a song called "Grabbleton's Reprise" later in the album, which is pretty much the same song but with more of a somber, more punk sounding tone to it.
The weirdness is a major theme for this release, as it is with their band in general. They put on amazing, entertaining shows with great singalongs and dance numbers. Like the songs "Baby", "She Cries Everytime the Wind Blows", and "A Song For the People" are perfect examples of songs you'll be dancing to and singing along to everytime you go to see these guys play. They even have a song about Scott Weiland and his love for heroin, simply titled "Heroin". There's a song that sympathizes with the hardships that come with being friend zoned by a girl whose endzone you want to get up in, and for categorizational purposes, I'm sure, it's simply titled "Friend Zone".
If you're looking for more of your weird fix, you'll be set with the song "Thx 4 the Mammaries". The title being suspiciously similar to a songs by bands like Fall Out Boy and Atomic Potato, but I'm sure it's no relation. It's a really creepy song about licking homeless vagina and loving tits. It even has a breakdown with some weirdly modified vocals for your listening pleasures. "Neebo's Revenge" and "Meatwave" will also cover your strange music fix. But if you're here to dance, you can pretty much jam to every song on here. This album is pure magic, all the way down to the nine minute closer.
Seriously, this shit is bosser than Tony Danza. If you don't like it, then it's a problem with you, not them. You should really just find out when they're playing nearby, and go see them. Even if they're playing a few states away, make the effort. It's worth it. You can get the album off of interpunk if you're interested, or you can get all of their prior releases for free off their website, which is also something I highly recommend. I think I found a way to cover the entire album without writing 20 paragraphs, and that's pretty damn impressive. I give it an arbitrary rating of 9/10. Later, folks.