One could speculate that the state of Washington is still the place to look towards when it comes to the search for pure rock and roll. Having been at this gig for a while now, I’d also have to throw Austin, Texas in as a highly potent den of shake your ass influence, but there is still a definite buzz raging from the north of California’s beaches. If you want proof, then take a listen to the Tight Bros.
That’s Bros as in “broze” and not “brothers”. They’ve pounded out the scene in Olympia and rocked club after club. If loud, screaming ’70s-like rock isn’t your bag, baby, then move along, son. The Tight Bros keep it real more than Miss Cleo could ever hope to. What you have here is rock that shreds not in the style of Nirvana, but has more in common with the bombast of the MC5.
You’re going to have to accept lead vocalist Jared Warren’s voice for what it is: loud, shrieking, but full of insane melody. Dave and Quitty’s guitars scream with the kind of passion that used to be commonplace on the radio, but has since turned into something to point at and look upon with awe. And in bassist Sean Kelly and drummer Nat Damm, the Bros have a killer rhythm section that could easily knock down a few bedroom walls if this shit was cranked to the max.
So what’s good here? Well, try on the opening track “Make It a Habit” for starters. Raging guitars, chanted vocals, rippin’ solos, and power drumming from hell push the Bros into your face and never let them move an inch. Jared kicks in some hot vocal melodies on “Bless Me” that echo an unholy kind of soulfulness not heard in years. His wailing might not be to everyone’s taste, but the fans of unbridled rock fury will find a lot to love here.
To make things even more interesting, Dave whips out his harmonica on “My Bad Luck” and whoops up a stormy blues brew that goes right along with his electric shredding. Warren keeps up with his vocal duties and the band never looks back. And that’s how the rest of the disc goes, sustaining an insane amount of energy from the Stax/Volt pound of “Lend You a Hand” to the crunch of “Nose in the Corner”, nothing on Lend You a Hand is light.
But that’s the way it should be. Sometimes you just need a good rocking band to come out and kick you right in the ass. The Tight Bros do that and then some. This isn’t your nu-metal brand of scream and thrash, kids. This is what rock and roll is all about. So keep those eyes cocked towards Washington. You never know when another music revolution might explode out of the northwest corner of the US.