LA five piece, He’s My Brother She’s My Sister, make the kind of racket from a bygone era. Their self proclaimed ‘psych-acoustic’ or ‘flamboyant folk’ contains shades of baroque and hints of rock-a-billy making for an audio treat more common to a time before colour television. Another thing that sets this quintet apart is that within their ranks they count a tapdancer whose rat-a-tat-tatting heels adds another layer of percussion to their vaudeville sounding new album Nobody Dances In This Town.
It’s with the tap dancing that the fivesome miss a trick, the clatter of taps isn’t as prominent you would expect. It’s only on ‘Clackin’ Heels’ that the foot percussion is allowed to shine. This moody track, boasts a sleazy guitar riff while Lauren Brown’s feet tap away. To some hilarity Rachel Kolar’s croaky vocals declare “I hate the sound of clackin’ heels/It drives me wild with an urge to kill”. Awkward times on stage when Brown straps on her foot instrument then?! However on the rest of the LP, Brown’s feet are low down in the mix.
Aside from the tap dancing, He’s My Brother She’s My Sister actually have two siblings in their line up with Rachel and Robert Kolar lending their vocals to their band’s rock-a-billy clatter. The brother and sister combo have weathered voices that sound like they are being heard from a vintage radio transmission. Rachel’s vocal is all croaks and husky tones while Robert is a smoother voice juxtaposed to his sister’s rougher delivery.
Nobody Dances In This Town is awash with slide guitar, pounding bass drum thumps and sultry rhythms. When the album isn’t bashing out jaunty nuggets, the band show they can slow it down and produce tracks like ‘Wake Your Heart’ and ‘Choir of the Day’ which demonstrates a calmer, more sedate edge. The fivesomes album starts at a terrific pace, but by the time it reaches its conclusion with ‘Can’t See The Stars’ the album comes to an end with something of an anticlimax. The record deserves a barnstorming finale but it comes to a close with a muted effort.
He’s My Brother She’s My Sister say that no-one dances in this town, however people would if their latest album didn’t run out of steam when it promises to party through the night.
Words and Thoughts of Adam Williams