Brother Reverend ‘Family Housing’

In the dog days of summer, you always find myself searching for those songs that make me think of road trips, windows down, nothing by good times on the road ahead. “Family Housing” by New York’s Brother Reverend is very much one of those songs.

Conceived in Atlanta, GA, and executed in New York City, Brother Reverend is a musical group founded by Keith Xenos with drummer Fletcher Liegerot (Cat Power) and comprised of various derelict musician friends.

The band cites the chords of Ray Davies, the commitment of Dylan and the arrangements of Curtis Mayfield as an influence. They love bouncy up-tempo music like the Beach Boys, but with an element of darkness and ruin underneath it all. We can hear all of that. But there’s also light nods to The New Pornographers and dark nods to Echo & The Bunnymen.

“Family Housing” is the first single from their new LP, The Tables Turn Too Often. Set for a 9/28 release, this is their first recording since 2012’s Ike Turner Kills Fascists. (Brilliant album title!). This is unbridled, unapologetic indie rock.

“I’m not really interested in the songwriting of most groups today. I mean, put on a Miracles record and it’s like, Those chords! Those changes! That middle-eight!” says Keith, singer, songwriter and multi- instrumentalist of the group, whose often-stated goal is to make a record better than Love Child.

“I don’t think we belong to any particular genre because our influences are myriad, but there are certain melodies and scales that I intentionally avoid when writing songs. Everything has to pass the ‘Ray Charles Test’, meaning that if I can’t imagine him singing a version of it, then it gets scrapped.”

Four years in the making, The Tables Turn Too Often was recorded and mixed on analog tape at the Seaside Lounge in Brooklyn, NY.

Twelve prodigious songs of the most defensive, doting, and contumelious material you’ve heard. The irresponsible union of George Jones, The Ventures, Velvet Underground, and Diana Ross.

Photo: Lester Romilar