Wednesday, 4 July 2012



All good things come to those who wait and Brothers in Brooklyn has been a while in the making. This shows in how accomplished and seamless the record sounds considering it is only a debut. After playing previously with not one but two influential bands – Goldrush and Danny & the Champions of the World - brothers Robin and Joe Bennett have cut their own teeth producing this set of spectacular tracks steeped in the Americana tradition.

Opening track Singing Sin City charts the genesis of the album as the brothers trekked their way across the US in a beat up Chevy van named Darla listening to The Byrds and Teenage Fanclub. While the influences of these bands, amongst others, are clear enough throughout, they are not merely imitated. In fact it is a rarity for bands these days to embrace their influences such as The Dreaming Spires have managed to do here and produce something so individual.

The first single to be released least year, Everything All the Time, provided ample warning of the artistic prowess this duo had percolating and ready to unleash. The song jumps down your throat, grabs a hold of your larynx encouraging a good old sing along with a sneaky little leg jig to boot.

There is such a wonderful mix of songs. It’s like a tasty casserole from the kitchen of some heavenly dimension where every mouthful offers a kaleidoscopic frenzy for the taste buds. Where every day is festival day and the beer runs free. From recently released Not Every Song From the Sixties is a Classic explaining how for every smash hit tune from that time there were mountains of trash. Or how even overplaying what may be deemed a classic can strip it of everything that made it so.

Then there’s the very Dylan-esque, Look at the Stars. Full of lyrical wonderment and with a musical arrangement that really anchors into the ears refusing to let go. This followed by slower number, Laughing and Dancing featuring a stunning vocal harmony from Cat Martino while revealing how elegant and graceful Robin’s vocals can be. Woman That You Are amplifies this even further while showcasing high calibre song writing talent with lyrics like, ‘lives roll on an endless reel, hard to keep up when you’re spinning on the wheel’.

While each song is a gem, the penultimate Strength of Strings really does rise up high above everything else and yet its ethereal inception prevents it from eradicating the quality of those it follows. The concluding track, The Dream Inspires may well be brief but the depth of meaning underlying the gentle grand piano and superlative words inflate it so it becomes no less noticeable.

These meticulously crafted traditional compositions thrust themselves out from the speakers accompanied by fresh and highly perceptive lyrics enticing the mind to stop and listen closer. There’s a distinct feeling of being pulled into a wondrous musical nexus these Brothers in Brooklyn have created. While a transatlantic ambience makes it an ideal soundtrack while reading something like a Kerouac novel, it goes further than this by inducing a longing for a life on the road. Don’t be too surprised if you start mulling over how to sell up, jet off to the US and live out your days travelling Route 66 in an RV.

This is an album with a powerful soul and it will instil a sense of wonder in you that modern everyday life continually threatens to extinguish.


  1. Singing Sin City
  2. Everything All The Time
  3. Not Every Song From The Sixties Is A Classic
  4. Look At The Stars (They’re Really Out Tonight)
  5. Laughing & Dancing
  6. Cathie (Carry On)
  7. Brothers In Brooklyn
  8. Woman That You Are
  9. Just Can’t Keep This Feeling In
  10. Strength Of Strings
  11. The Dream Inspires

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