Brontide are an emerging instrumental rock band from south England. They’re signed to an indie label called Holy Roar records and are made up of 3 very very talented and versatile musicians. Each one of them is involved in different bands, the drummer is actually La Roux’s session drummer (much to my distress as it means he can’t devote all his time to Brontide) but they all come together to form this band and create musical gold.
As a 3 piece they consist of guitar, bass and drums, making their tracks sound like tight calculated jams with catchy, head stomping riffs and deluges of heavy sections. The guitarist, Tim Hancock has a huge pedal board and loops the **** out of all his parts in order to make the tracks swell and explode. Their music (I would say) is inspired by heavy prog bands like Russian Circles or Mars Volta and other more ambient rock bands. All 3 of them use a variety of different techniques which make the range of their music quite interesting and their set not as same-y as you might think.
Without the pretentious music jargon, these guys rock and I hope they do really well. I think that any band who can make you grin like a 5 year old who’s just been given a toy car and some chocolate cake, deserves to succeed and be properly listened to. As far as I know, they are actually moving up in the music world and doing well- their first gig I went to, there must have been about 20 people in a dingy east London venue, but now they’re touring with Oceansize and Vessels so good on them!
In terms of releases, I bought their 3 track EP and it didn’t sound good unfortunately. The production/engineering is quite weak and some of the tracks sound like they were played to a lazy click. I think, as they’re such an amazing live band, you have to retain some of the live feel on the recordings to make it as satisfying to listen to, but these recordings sound too slow for me, and not as immense as they could. Their latest recording however is a lot better! A track which only appears on their myspace (link in right hand column) called Bob Munden. It has everything you’d expect and want from a Brontide track so check it out! What got me addicted to Brontide was the video on their myspace of them playing at New Slang; the sound quality is perfect and you can see them in action which is cool. I especially like the fact that they’re all standing in a line, abolishing all notion of “front man” and “more” or “less” important members of the band.
Their brilliant philosophy (if you can call it that) as stated on their myspace page is “We plan on playing the most melodic music we have ever played, in the same song as playing the heaviest music that we have ever played”. So they ignore common musical conventions and opt for an approach to songwriting which revolves around dynamics, riffs and best of all, a sense of enjoyment which makes their music genuine and all the more entertaining to listen to.
Would I recommend going to see them? Yes, of course. Would I recommend downloading (for free) the video of them live at New Slang from the Beatcast TV video podcasts? Yes, of course.