The Brooks Young Band has toured extensively throughout New England, sharing the stage with icons such as B.B. King, REO Speedwagon, Pat Benatar, The Wallflowers, and Boyd Tinsley of Dave Matthews Band. They have also had the privilege of performing for Vice President Joe Biden and many others. Their latest EP, released just a few months back, is entitled “What The Night Knows”. The polished but hard-edged production on the album is a perfect fit for the Brooks Young Band. Drums are loud, guitars churn and scrape unpredictably, and the vocals float crystal-clear above the rest of the mix. The songs are a blend of straight-ahead rockers and more intricate songs filled with twists and tangents, propelled by hypnotic beats, accessible song structures and sublime textures.
I am blown away by the depth of “What The Night Knows”. At times it can be dark, brooding, balls out rock on tracks like “Make It Through The Night” and it then it can be almost bone-crunching Alt-Americana, in the best sense of the word on tracks like “Losing Game” and “I Swear”, or just downright beautiful and melodic on “We Were Young”, no doubt the album’s catchiest and mainstream, radio-ready track.
In fact if there is one thing the Brooks Young Band is strong on – besides their playing prowess – that is melody, which comes thick and fast in every song they execute. Their songs often beginning as quiet, moving testimonies – though always ominous of some coming storm – build to crescendos of heart-throbbing passion.
Moreover there is a sense of urgency in the songs here that accompanies even the more meditative tones, making the listening experience an electrifying one. The vocals pierce and sail through each track with vigor and grit, as lead singer and guitarist, Brooks Young, unleashes his intensely gravelly tones. He is at his most impressive on “We Were Young” and “Make It Through The Night”, where his guitar also shines.
The rest of the band, made up of Jeff LeRoy (Hammond, Keys, Vocals), Todd Waller (Bass/Vocals) and Tony Interlande (Drums), never fall one step behind driving the engine room with fiery rhythms and colorful tones. Each individual interpretation can be as ardent, as raging as the most intensely felt emotion or as deep, dark and vast as a storm filled sea.
While the Brooks Young Band are establishing a reputation as being an Alternative Rock/Grunge band, their mastery seems to be in always keeping things simple and not overreaching – A trick of the trade not many bands of this genre are able to maintain.
Yet, at the same time the band excels at the dynamics in range an emotion within their songs. The ‘cleanliness’ and ease with which they seem to produce great music simply entrances and enchants.
“What The Night Knows” perks the ears from the very beginning, with some exceptional moments thrown into each track. The production of all the musical elements as well as the effects on the instruments, leave Brooks Young’s voice unobstructed and unfettered – even though he is more than capable of holding his own – so that no noise overshadows the smoky coarseness of his vocals, a huge component of this band’s signature sound, to my mind.
All-round the composition of the songs is structurally sound and extremely well thought out, while the emotion and intention is clear and easily absorbed. Is there really anything else you could ask of a rock n’ roll band? Believe me, this is a solid album by a really, really good band!