The trio behind The Arthur Brothers is the real-life brother’s Matt and Danny Arthur and the producer and multi-instrumentalist J.C Wright. Their debut album, Nine is released by Clearlight Records/Declared Goods.
There is a lack of imagination in the song titles on Nine. The album opens with a song called “Ninth.” But we can forgive The Arthur Brothers for unimaginative song titles because Nine is crammed full of eclectic ideas and musical creativity.
There have been four singles, to date, from the album. The single “Ninth,” with it’s catchy, almost chant-like, chorus and its driving, bouncy, tribal drum rhythm. Reminiscent of a less pop-based and more haunting Tears For Fears with a wave to Peter Gabriel and a nod to the 90s Spiritualized sound. There was “Lovesunk.” A wistful, synth-based, electronic pop song, that’s tinged with sadness and the sorrow of unrequited love wrapped up in a remarkably uplifting style. Which brings to mind an early MGMT or Empire Of The Sun sound. The slightly eccentric, experimental and cinematic single “Violet Hum” and the equally cinematic & highly inventive “Flawless.” A song of soul searching and broken hearts with Matt Arthur’s distorted vocals being mirrored by the guitars, the dark mood of the pianos and the dramatic, almost drone-like accordion sounds. A delightfully theatrical song that touches on the sound of Mercury Rev and Spiritualized.
The other five songs on Nine follow in a similar vibe. All are grand in scope and all are slightly different in style. “Watson” plays out like a glammed up, tongue firmly in cheek, rock opera. “Great Escape” is as near as The Arthur Brothers will ever get to a piano and string-based ballad. “Lynch mob” continues in a similar vain and style. However the almost, visceral guitars and warm harmonic backing vocals raise the song above an album filler. “Mercury,” by contrast is stark and deceptively simple. The piano-driven melody is captivating, the lyrics, softly delivered, are mystical and dark: “Taking all my friends, down, down, down in the water.”
The cello and strings from the middle eight are emotive and wonderfully menacing. Nine ends on the 9 minutes 30s econds, of “Sun Gun” A tune full of harmony and big production, catchy hooks and grand ideas, a homage to Tears For Fears most popular sound and possibly a touch on the long side.
If you have heard any of the singles and enjoyed them, then Nine will definitely hit the sweet spot. If you are new to the Arthur Brothers Nine will definitely entertain you, although I would recommend watching the fantastic videos of the singles first.