Brother George

Brother George

 Chicago, Illinois, USA

Addictive, jangly garage rock, sometimes AM gold inspired pop, with sick grizzled guitar riffs.


Name any lead-off track from a Chicago area band's album this year, and chances are it doesn't leap forth with the creativity, color or all-out chops of "So Many Arms To Hold Me," from Brother George's Big Piney. Opening with lush keyboard gurgles and stoic acoustic strums - sporting a perpetual optimism similar to The Zombies' classic, "This Will Be Our Year" - the song eventually gives way to staccato, yet polite guitar thrusts and a 4/4 stomp layered with the kinds of harmonies that would make Brian Wilson envious. It's the rare song that can break a local band wide open to the masses, while still remaining true to the simplicity and innocence of what a young rock band can be. Did I mention we're not even passed track one yet?

The time members have racked up in a wide range of genres - from The Dear Hunter's dramatic, dark post-hardcore to the folky, Pitchfork/Stereogum approved Ohtis - as all living together above a record store on Milwaukee Ave., have done Brother George's kaleidoscope of sound proud. Though a tag as vague as "pop/rock" is technically accurate, the results drummer Zane Ranney, bassist/vocalist Neal Neumann and guitarists/vocalists Sagan Jacobson and Ryan Culbertson get are more of a celebration of music as a whole, rather than misguided stabs at trying to appeal to all on purpose. British invasion, doo-wop, psychedelia, blue-eyed soul, alt-pop and an endless utility belt of fuzzy production choices, drastic rhythm changes and choir-boy vocals are all thrown in the pot, and no initial 30 seconds of a song can tell you where it'll be a minute later. Mid-album landmark "Nothing" pumps along with sunny, Shins-esque ornateness before laying into a mathy strut; ballads like "Sailor" and "Everything That's Happened" are equally as engaging, acting as intricate love letters to The Band, and not just excuses to slow down; jittery power-pop nuggets like "Icicles" and "Keep U Mine" are feverish jolts of top-notch songwriting. As Windy City Rock has put it, "they are the quintessential Chicago band that just won't quit."


Big Piney LP (2012)
Piney EP (2012)

Set List

Current set list (varies depending on set time, etc.)

So Many Arms To Hold Me 3:05
Keep U Mine 2:51
Everything That's Happened 4:31
A Man In Water 2:42
Truly Yours 4:47
Caroline 2:55
Nothing 3:34
Sailor 5:16
Place 3:15
Olivia Oh Yeah 3:01
Icicles 3:34
Love Dies Young 4:44
Dead Yet 2:37

Specific order varies. Possible use of 1-2 cover songs and/or songs in the works.