Gentleman Brawlers, The Bullet Review
Gentleman Brawlers is a Brooklyn and Queens-based six-piece band that creates a style that is described as psychedelic Afro-soul. The female-fronted band is known for their spooky, stylized tunes steeped in analog tape echo and spring reverb. Gentleman Brawlers are at the core of a funk-based band, but they also draw from influences of throwback electronica and acid rock. The band has honed its live show and unique sound on college campuses and the festival circuit. Notable performances took place at Brooklyn Bowl, Daryl’s House, Princeton University’s storied Terrace F. Club, Bethlehem’s Musikfest, WNYC’s The Greene Space, The McKittrick Hotel (home of Sleep No More), Brooklyn’s Knitting Factory, and recently an in-studio appearance on WBEZ Chicago (home of NPR’s Wait Wait … Don’t Tell Me and This American Life). Formed in 2011, the Gentleman Brawlers are Becca Fox (vocals/keys), “Chatty Matty” Walsh (vocals/guitar), Jeremy Warren (drums), Trevor Brown (bass), Oskar Stenmark (trumpet), and Xavier Del Castillo (saxophone). Their first single “I Ain’t No Brian Wilson (I Was Made For These Times)” appeared on Occupy This Album, a musical tribute to the Occupy movement. The following year the band dropped an EP, We Were Made For These Times, on the band’s own Brooklyn Fields imprint. Since then, the band has been a stylish presence on the tour and festival circuit and will release their next full-length LP, #Truth&Magic in March of 2020. They are now releasing their latest single titled, “The Bullet.”Positives: Solid compositional skills build “The Bullet” with hip riffs, passionate singing, slick horns, and a deep groove that makes the feet dance.
Bottom Line: “The Bullet” opens with a catchy riff that vocalist Fox’s energetic vocals dig into and soar. The funk-based groove has a wide-ranging appeal with elements of pop, rock, and of course, funk. The horn lines add to the energy. Walsh and Castillo both deliver solos that match the song’s energy and mood. The subtle use of wah-wah guitar, vocal effects, and a sweet ensemble section take “The Bullet” into the realm of something special. Fox does an excellent job of fronting the band, matching the energy of the band. The vibe is driving with a live band sound that helps keep the song moving and full of interest. Psychedelic Afro-soul is alive and well with Gentleman Brawlers paving the way. That’s the short of it!
The Bullet (single)
Release Date: December 17, 2019