Overall Score: 9/10 Originality: 9/10 Riffs: 8/10 Repeat Listen Value: 9/10 Pros: Constantly evolving sound | Unique, genre dividing Cons: Vocals unclear in parts
When a band waits over three years to release their debut album it adds an air of pressure to the release. After the years of hard work it would be easy for the album to fall below expectations and difficult for a fan base has given so much back to the band to have those expectations met. Leuven, Belgium is the home of Brutus who found themselves in this exact situation at the beginning of 2017 with their debut album, ‘Burst’, ready to be unleashed on the world.
Immediately captivating with its inconsistent pacing and off kilt vocals, ‘March’ is the opening track on Burst and it sets it’s stall out early with a riff that wouldn’t go amiss on a Slash album. Despite being almost instrumental, the sheer variation on offer on the opener is astonishing. Fast paced riffs accompanied by drumming that is intricate as often as it is simple, is replaced by slower guitars and a drum beat that matches the track name.
‘All Along’ follows and presents a wall of sound that has the hallmarks of rock, punk and indie all merged into a high tempo, bass driven track. Despite being no longer than the opener it feels more drawn out and more carefully put together. ‘Not Caring’ has a euphoric, anthemic feel to it and showcases just how much power drummer and vocalist Stefanie’s lungs have in them before she shows her softer side in the opening of ‘Justice De Julia II’.
The real highlight on Burst is the lead single ‘Drive’. It takes everything that has preceded and evolved it so it becomes a self-fulfilling tribute to the unique area of the spectrum that Brutus have carved out for themselves. That’s not putting it lightly either, elements of their inspiration seep out on occasion as you’d expect. The riffs can sound familiar but there is an individuality about the band and its members in every way…except one. They work together so harmoniously it’s hard to think of them as anything but the Brutus. It’s like the reason they were created was to go on themselves and create this band.
Another positive of the album is that lyrically it is relatively easy to pick up and that means that when they hit the UK next week there should be sing-a-longs aplenty (though playing the Midlands the same night as Creeper is a bit of a clanger). With rock and punk elements mixing in with riffs that are as good as anything released so far this year, Burst is an album that has set out it’s stall as one of the best debut albums of 2017.