Brothers Of The Sonic Cloth: Brothers Of The Sonic Cloth

brothersofthesonicclothTo say I was highly anticipating the debut, self-titled album by Tad Doyle’s Brothers Of The Sonic Cloth would be a bit of an understatement. I was a huge Tad fan, and when I heard that he was creating a doom metal band, I was pretty stoked. Then, I unfortunately missed their set at Sub Pop’s 20th Anniversary in 2008 because I couldn’t get from Marymoor Park to whatever that downtown club was (man I can’t believe I’ve only been gone six months) fast enough. Doyle had said they were working on the album prior to that show, but five years later, they did another set at Sub Pop’s 25th Anniversary, which I did see, and there was still no album out. Finally, this year, the band released it.

And to say I’m underwhelmed would be…well, it would actually be a pretty accurate statement. I dig it, I just…you know, it’s not as aggressive as Tad, and if I want doom metal this won’t be the first thing I reach for. Plus, the sound is not great. It’s very compressed, and yet it’s still not very loud. It’s like you fought the loudness wars and lost and now you’re not even left with the positives of that loss. I don’t know, for a guy who runs his own studio, I expected better.

So, it’s pretty good but pretty standard, doom sludge metal with kinda mediocre sound and a lead singer who doesn’t quite have that doom voice. And finally, I can’t review the thing properly because they did that thing where they hold one song back from the streaming services, which I think is supposed to entice me to buy the whole thing. But it just ends up ticking me off.

I mean, I get it. And I’m totally in favor of musicians getting paid, but as a consumer and music fan, I don’t want to get caught in the middle of this war between the artists and the streaming services. Just work it out amongst yourselves and let me have my music, please. You can even raise my subscription fee because I feel it would be worth it. Just don’t become like the cable companies and make me pay too much for channels I don’t want. Cuz then I’ll abandon you like I abandoned them.

So, anyway, better sound could have netted the album a four-clown rating, and, since there are only six tracks without it, the missing song very well could swing this to an even three- or four-clown rating. As it is, though, I enjoy listening to this quite a bit, especially “Lava” and “I Am,” so I’m leaning 3.5 clowns.

Oh, and another thing, out of the seven total tracks on the album, the final two are listed as bonus tracks, so, I don’t know. It just seems like maybe more than one song per year of R&D would be good, and also then make them super awesome instead of merely really good. And also make them available. I still love you, Mr. Doyle.

Really Like: “Lava,” “I Am”
Like: “Empires Of Dust,” “Unnamed,” “The Immutable Path”
Meh: “Outro”
Unrateable: “La Mano Poderosa”