Review: The Brothers Groove – Play The Game

Posted on: Wednesday, Dec 11, 2013

brothers groove cover.jpg

The Brothers Groove – Play The Game

(Shabby Toad Records: BRGROOV1)

From Birmingham, The Brothers Groove have hit the road running with their debut album, ‘Play The Game’, due for official release in January. Produced by the award winning drummer Wayne Proctor, the album is a superb rendition of blues and rhythm & groove. All the tracks on the album are self-penned and I found this to be one of the most exciting albums on the circuit for a while. They are also a ‘must see’ band live, to gain the full ‘Brothers’ experience!!

The band consists of Shaun Hill on guitar and main vocals, Nige Mellor on guitar and vocals and Deano Bass on bass and vocals. Guest, Wayne Proctor, was on drums for this album, with other guests Bob Fridzema and Bennett Holland on keys and Sam Weeks on backing vocals.

The first track ‘Play The Game (Save Your Soul)’ and the name sake for the album, goes straight into the ‘groove’. It is an up tempo number with nice vocals and hosts a great guitar solo, some classy bass and classic funky drums. The next track ‘Understand Me’ is pure ‘funk’, just brilliant.

With a bit of ‘rhythm & groove’ on ‘My Guitar’, there are great vocals from Shaun and some exceptional ‘funky’ guitar. Then slowing the pace down, a more ‘bluesy’ number, ‘Treat Em Mean’, with some full on Hammond input on this track.

‘Never Gonna Happen’ is a great up tempo number, with well executed percussion and fuzz box guitar work. It all works really well with the piano and Hammond input. Moving onto ‘Duty Calls’, a ‘foot tapping’ track with a ‘swing’ feel. Shaun again does some great vocals and there are also some pleasing backing vocals. Really good use of the wah, wah pedal on one of the excellent guitar solos.

Slowing the tempo right down, ‘Another Girl’ is a slow melodic track, with superb jazz rhythms and wonderful guitar and vocals. In comparison, the up tempo number ‘What’s The Deal’, provides classic ‘funky’ rhythms. It all works well with the backing vocals and superb guitar and bass.

‘Easy Found Love’ has some sound drumming and good use of wah, wah on the class guitar solo. There is Interesting use of reverb on the guitar and some excellent bass playing and Hammond input. The last track on this exceptional album and is probably my favourite, ‘Will I See You There’. It is in the ‘chill out zone’, a haunting number with great rhythms leaning towards jazz. There is some great guitar and vocals with good use of keys, it is a beautifully mastered track. It is one of those numbers that hits you in the stomach, just brilliant!!

The whole album is exceptional and I will look forward to see how it is received within the ‘blues’ fraternity. Hopefully we will see more of The Brothers Groove in the hierarchy of profile bands, which is no less than they deserve!

ROSY GREER – Lancashire Blues Archive

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