‘Built on distorted guitar and cymbal infused drums, it’s a track that signals the start of something really special.’
Intro to Brigade:
Initially formed back in 2003 and clocking up three album releases – ‘Lights’ (2006), ‘Come Morning We Fight’ (2008) and ‘Will Be Will Be’ (2011) – 2011 saw Brigade go their separate ways. Now, seven years
on, and with an altered line up in the form of Will Simpson (Guitar & Vocals), James Plant (Guitar & Vocals), Mark Fisher (Guitar), Alex Baker (Bass) and Nathaniel Finbow (Drums), they are back with their 5 track release ‘This Is Not For You.’ Closing out the EP, ‘One Day at a Time’ showcases Brigade’s heightened sound and makes for an absolute belter of a conclusion.
Unassumingly starting with harmonic centred melodies, ticking high hat and sustained chords, there is next to no giveaway of where ‘One Day at a Time’ will end up. Building through a set of textural and harmonic developments, a sense of anticipation forms the centre of the tracks somewhat extended introduction. However, with each new percussive idea and each new guitar riff connecting with the next, it never loses interest. As introductions go, it’s definitely one of the longest I’ve heard. But, it is most definitely worth it.
Bringing with it a hint of modern-american rock, Will’s vocal provides the perfect compliment to its enticing surroundings. Leading with the lyrics of ‘Gotta move on but I’m stuck in reverse’ – the initial part of which introduces the first of many earworms – you soon realise just how much of step up this sound is from the band’s previous carnation. If however you haven’t heard Brigade before now, you of course can’t make this comparison. Either way, you can’t fail to accept it for the belter of a track that it is.
Progressing through the first verse, the momentum brought by the accompaniment pushes the track along at great pace. However, while teetering on the edge of rushed, it never reaches it. A tricky balance to find indeed, but one that plays a key role in the success of the track. Contrasting with the rock-centred regularity, Will’s vocal – with its combination of snappy phrases and more ‘relaxed passages’ (a term I use very loosely here) – provides us with a showcase of how tone quality can make or break a track. Unsurprisingly, it really makes it.
While remaining a million miles away from relaxed, the sound that hits us on reaching the chorus makes us feel like the verse was gently lulling us. Built on distorted guitar, thumping percussive rhythms, cymbal infused drums and euphoric vocals, it’s a change that signals the start of something really special: A powerhouse chorus that contrasts so much with what has come before that it works insanely well.
Taking this a stage further – and brilliantly showcasing Brigade’s musicality once again – the verse which follows seamlessly fuses the track’s elements resulting in a polyphonic, interweaving sound which could be a track in its own right. With drums high in the mix, guitars more reserved and Will’s vocal burrowing its way into your head, you want to hit repeat and experience it again!! But don’t just press it just yet.
Following a resurgence of the power-filled chorus – which feels even more overwhelming second time around – a full on instrumental rock breakdown pushes the sound even further. Creating, through dominating accents, an increasing sense that the track is about to musically implode on itself, it builds beyond belief until it does just that. But in doing this we are treated a beautiful – yes beautiful – sounding bridge where the echoing combination of Will and James’ vocals provide a chance to catch our breath. And trust me, with the track’s frantically fuelled climax just round the corner, you certainly need to.