ALBUM REVIEW: Elder Brother – I Won’t Fade On You
Photo Credit: Morgan Foster
Elder Brother is the side project of vocalist Daniel Rose and The Story So Far guitarist Kevin Geyer. The duo have recruited bassist Morgan Foster and drummer/keyboardist Evan Garcia-Renart for their new record, I Won’t Fade On You, released via Pure Noise Records. The follow up to 2018’s Stay Inside sees the band adopt a style hard to pin down, as they tell a story across each track.
The release opener, title-track I Won’t Fade On You, is a delicate introduction to the band, allowing you to drift away with Rose’s vocals. It soon becomes apparent that this record is one which will take us on a journey of a relationship through the highs and the lows. If You Love Me (Like You Say), with twangy and melodic guitar lines, sings of showing those you love that you love them, rather than just saying this. Pre-chorus “If you love me like you say you love me, then it’s time to show me, even if it’s slowly” becomes a stand-out section of this release, whirling round within our heads long after the track and the album ends.
Now for something different with the sassy, electro keyboard sounds of I Get So Tired Of You, which makes us wonder if we’ve suddenly gone onto a completely different release without even realising? Elder Brother have taken a step away from the rockier sounds of previous releases to show the world what they can do. Garcia-Renart provides a funky grooved edge to this track, which sings of the doubt which comes up within a relationship: “I get so tired of believing the words I say that just aren’t true“. After a heavy lyric focus, a guitar-based instrumental is packed with swirling riffs making it impossible not to imagine the duo taking centre stage to a crowd, looking in adoration of the skills being flaunted. A slower pace follows the upbeat high, as Projector continues with a slower tempo and a sense of defeat shown through the emotive vocals “I wanted nothing more than to be your something more,” which show the next stages of the ongoing relationship of the album.
In the second half of the release Ok, Alright is carried by the drumlines and continues the story, by exploring the defeatism felt when a relationship isn’t going in the right direction. Singing of unrequited love that you’re unable to end however hard you try, the composition of this track supports a happier side when wishing well to the other half, and in doing so becoming the bigger person.
Following in the theme of funky numbers is previous single The Champion of the East Bay, it’s soothing and effortlessly chilled out. With a full-blast instrumental highlighting the strongest part of this track, we’re able to take in each guitar line and deconstruct the drumlines. It’s a standout for the beauty it holds in lyrics such as “if she had a song, I’d sing it every day”. We’ll be honest, we’re looking for some more action and fire by the time Hair rolls around as yes, ballads are great but it does feel as if we’re being overwhelmed by these across the release. Yet as Hair begins with strumming guitars and lyrics which reminisce upon what a relationship once was, we’re met with another love inspired ballad that, in the track line-up, has now become hard to separate from others across the release. Coming in at over five minutes long, by the time you’re three minutes in the spark begins to disappear, leaving you longing for something new.
As we reach the final leg of the release, High brings back the energy and becomes a track that can be about your mates or your date and the times which you shared that you’re unable to forget. Elder Brother have saved the best until last on this release, from start to finish we’re captivated with perfected, spiralling vocals and vicious guitars that make sure you’ll still be thinking of them long after it ends. Closing track Washed is where everything ends, letting go of the remnants of a relationship to start again: “If she could let this go, pack a bag and hit the road. She could move to Indio; she could wash away”. The story telling abilities exhibited across this release are incredibly special, allowing the listener to interpret them in many ways to create their own visuals within their mind, which can change with each listen. Instead of creating a release which fans might have been anticipating, they’ve tried their hand at new styles and in doing so, Elder Brother will be reaching out to a whole new cohort of fans.
Standout tracks: If You Love Me (Like You Say), The Champion of the East Bay, High
For Fans Of: Boston Manor, Turnover, Transit
Written by: Nicola Craig