stephen brower & the silent majority
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stephen brower & the silent majority

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Discography

2011 - sb/sm (LP)

2010 - Don't Think You're Too Good For Country Music (Just Because You Can Rock & Roll) 7" Vinyl

2010 Release - Top 5 Most played at KXLU / Los Angeles

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Stephen Brower & the Silent Majority - sb/sm

While a search for “Stephen Brower & the Silent Majority” in iTunes will return you a few results, sb/sm is effectively the debut album from this Los Angeles-based rock band. What started in 2004 as a bedroom folk recording project for Brower alone has, after nearly five years of playing as a full band with guitarist Tarik Soliman, bassist Ryan Chaffee, and drummer Charlie Dresser, morphed into a full blown stoner-punk-folk-metal assault. Produced by Toshi Kasai (Melvins, Helmet, Tweak Bird) sb/sm’s ten tracks* present a furious and focused distillation of that particular and unique aesthetic.

The band’s influences are wildly disparate, a fact on full display throughout sb/sm. Album opener ‘”This City” plays as blistering horror-punk a la the Misfits, while “Ajax Mountain” recalls burned out 1970’s country rock, which is fitting as the song takes as its subject (and protagonist) none other than Hank Williams, Jr. Elsewhere on the record, “You’d Better Come On” rides the slack rhythms of grunge, “The Ballad of Eagle” (about indie film cult hero Eagle Pennell) taps into Sunset strip sleaze, and side 2 opener “White Suburbs of London” is a just-south-of-metal romp inspired by, of all things, an incorrect answer to a trivia question about Hello Kitty. (Brower, Soliman, and 4x Jeopardy champion Chaffee are all competitive trivia players).

Producer Toshi Kasai’s deep and diverse resume as a producer, engineer, and mixer (which ranges literally from Jello Biafra to Rickie Lee Jones), contributes to the project greatly and delivers alternately moments of punishing heft and woozy, laid-back warmth.

Kasai has also worked with Jesus & Mary Chain’s William Reid, which provides a reference point forsb/sm’s closing track “Feeling Lucky/Eyes on Me.” That track takes as its jumping off point Reid’s “Feeling Lucky,” the brief, 25-word closing track from 1993’s Stoned & Dethroned. On sb/sm, Brower reframes “Feeling Lucky” as a sort of prologue to his own “Eyes on Me,” a loping and darkly country lament who’s protagonist is a bitter but resilient estranged father. And it is outré choices just such as this that make sb/sm a singular and eminently engaging record.