Be careful when entering your Google search; this isn’t the O’Brother from the hill-country, jailbreak, George Clooney movie. The Atlanta band O’Brother’s new album “Garden Window” delivers gospel of a different sort through driving anthems and melancholy interludes. With its share of reverb-splashed “ooooo’s” and “ohhh’s”, over-driven bass, gargantuan drum crashes, and the noise of 3 interweaving guitars, “Garden Window” shows the cohesiveness of the musical team on an deeply intellectual level.
Ethereal guitar moans swirl throughout the repertoire creating a bed for chanting melodies and the bellow of lyrics. The beats of “Easy Talk” a’la MuteMath quickly break to crushing four-on-the-floor pounding. These driving moments, reinforced by Isis-esque sludge-chords of octives set to make listeners’ chests rumble are juxtaposed with delicate guitar breaks and vocal crooning of almost theatrical proportions.
Eerie sounds and structures reminisce a neo-gothic era, Rasputina comes to mind… Beetlejuice. Beetlejuice! BEETLEJUICE! However the outfit keeps within the realm of southern indie comrades, Colour Revolt, fellow-Georgians Dead Confederate, and a cameo from Manchester Orchestra’s Andy Hull (who also produced the album). Another cameo adds yet another timbre to the pallet from which the album’s soundscape is built, the plucked strings and siren-like vocals of harpist Timbre Cierpke.
Never a boring moment, O’Brother takes advantage of all spectrums of dynamic, seeming like the only major key moment of the album the resolution of “Cleanse Me” alludes to clear skies ahead, but to no avail as screams and howls follow like monsters on a dimly lit path.
Dark like Brand New’s “The Devil and God are Raging Inside of Me,” yet ever looming anticipation of what is yet to come, a faint hope, “Garden Window” is an epic journey. The album ends with the requiem of the odyssey, “Last Breath.”
“If God is an acronym, Giver Of Damnation, why even bother with the concept of man?”
Prepare yourself for an hour, that seems like a lifetime, as O’Brother takes you by the hand and leads you through the Garden Window.