Tuesday, July 02, 2013

Brutus: Behind the Mountains (2013)

Reflections on Thin Lizzy and Wondering Why Others Can't Match Them

Review by joanismylover, the third metal attorney.

In the movie "Once", about star-crossed lovers in modern day Ireland, the protagonist is a musician. It's all serious but comic relief comes in the form of a Thin Lizzy cover band, who like any band if it sounds like Thin Lizzy. They only liked Thin Lizzy. At the time I thought that was amusing, but I didn't really get it. I'd only known the band through the much over played now on a Citibank credit card commercial, "The Boys Are Back in Town." Well, I've been discovering Thin Lizzy for the last couple of years and now I want to watch that chick flick again. Now I understand the obsession.

If you don't like Thin Lizzy, you're not my friend. I've told my 6 year old daughter that she can't marry anyone who doesn't like Thin Lizzy.* I will now be getting every Thin Lizzy album I can get my hands on, and not just on CD. I want to get a record player to hear this stuff on vinyl. And the thing is, except for Jailbreak and Live & Dangerous, when I first spin a Thin Lizzy disc, I'm never immediately into it. Take "Black Rose", the latest I've been listening to. I had read a number of things talking about how it was their best but at first, I didn't get it. Then I listened again, not because I wanted to, but because I thought I should. At the end of the second spin, I kind of wanted to listen again. But not because I was amazed. After the third listen I wanted to listen again. And again. And then again. It's an amazing album that all of a sudden clicked.

It's my fourth spin of Behind the Mountain and it hasn't clicked. I want to like some good old fashioned hard rock. But me and Brutus are not going to have a future relationship. It's not until 3 minutes into "Big Fat Boogie" that my attention is drawn to the tunes. (Great title). Otherwise I'm not annoyed by the tunes either, but I suppose that's damning Brutus with faint praise. Now I realize not every band can blaze and burn like Thin Lizzy. Don't get me wrong - Brutus are good and give off a Doors - Sabbath vibe but there's nothing that makes this stand out. It's not until the final two songs that I'm impressed. "Reflections" and "Can't Help But Wonderin' Why?" are two simmering storms of hard rock glory proto-metal jams that show the band probably has a good wall to wall record in them. But this isn't it.

3 out of 5 stars.

*(and Clutch)

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