By Anthony McLaude, Rock At Night New Jersey
Review: Brass Against’s self-titled EP – Released April 10, 2020
To quote Wayne’s World, “That chick can wail.” On the peripheral grind of liberating their self-titled studio EP’s first single, “Umbra”, Brass Against, a politically unbound collective of paint slinging brass and highly strung hip-hop artists have been causing a foray of commotion through their live-in-studio in gritty New York City, screaming like they’re Rage Against The Machine.
In anticipation of composing their first self-titled extended play of original music, Brass Against was erstwhile making a name for themselves paying homage by interpreting songs from the incendiary likes of the most iconic bands in rock and hip hop history such as Black Sabbath, Beastie Boys, Pantera, Alice In Chains, Tool, Rage Against The Machine, and Audioslave. Hell, I would even attest to add The Dead Kennedys and The Runaways to the playlist coverage that Brass Against needs to get down on covering. Simply put, I dig the soulstress of punk protest rock, Sophia Urista, who’s a chronic collaborator on lead vocals with a voice that exudes the empowerment of soul. Now I’m no starving music journalist on a suicidal watch. Nonetheless, instead of following the meditation mantra of “just breathe,” I enabled my head to explode upon head banging to the track, “Pull The Trigger.” The blood sodden remains are all over my Jean-Michel Basquiat’s Now’s the Time painting after having listened to Brass Against’s first originally written song, “Umbra”.
“Umbra”, is premium brass sound quality with a jab of 90s alternative rock and heavy metal; a disarmingly candid introduction to a record that is rebellious against societal norms, and solely fixated on the now as they breathe to call attention to their meditative realities. Brass Against’s discographic raison d’etre is to provoke thought into the minds of their connected fan base, encouraging them to act in the present of their emotions in meaningful ways to embark change.
I may be deficient, but pardon me for the self-destructive mess I made in my living room on Basquiat’s Now’s The Time display. Pull The Trigger was yet another masterful record, prolific and politically bold in its own statement against a course of how things were and still are in America. It’s like each individual member of the band curated ideas together in white fashionable avant-garde overalls to garner information as band leader; Brad Hammonds pulls the trigger on freedom of speech and expression to expose racism of the Ku Klux Klan, questioning authority, and the stench of dead wasted talent lying in suffocation, nearing death due the splinter in humanity’s eye creating “one too many fire lines.” Pull The Trigger alone has dropped far more education than the public school system’s way of history “keeping you dumb and blind.”
In an alternative reality, Rage Against The Machine is covering Brass Against’s songs. The trombone’s on “Blood On The Other,” leaves a heavenly exhale of jazz meets metal with a seductive sexy and sassy spoken word in Spanish. This record calls to attention to not only look at things, but look into them. However, failure to do so will cause the working man to have a sudden strike of paying the price by a society that’s hell-bent on keeping him sedated and busy on matters of no real importance until the day of breaking free from the prison that he’s in spiritually.
I feel grateful having walked through the dark alleys of 2020’s pandemic; stumbling upon this Brass Against EP is blazing a trail of its own with these virus slaying rock records. On ending of this review report, rock ‘n’ roll needs more Brass Against.
Stream Brass AGAINST EP here: