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Pearls and Brass, "The Indian Tower"

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The second album from these Pennsylvanian chaps is full of chunky blues-inspired riffs. Not in a nasty, necrophilia-tinged way like Led Zeppelin but more in a Sabbath-style with a nod to past greats. While I appreciate the straightforward rocking and absence of wank solos, unfortunately there’s not much to make Pearls and Brass anything more than just another generic stoner rock band.

Drag City

The Indian Tower isn’t a bad album, I like it as it is just rocking out for the sake of rocking out but there are times on it when I forget who I'm listening to.  They sound like dozens of other bands found in a local run down venue or on MTV. In particular this album seems like a carbon copy of the first Queens of the Stone Age album. "The Tower" is a good song but Pearls and Brass have no distinctive features in this song nor in the rest of the album. The vocals sound exactly like the aforementioned Queens of the Stone Age. In fact, everything down to the tone settings on the guitar smacks of Josh Homme. It annoys me that such a garden variety band can get an album like this released when I'm sure there are more bands out there that could bring something interesting to the table.

In fairness to the band, they are extremely tight. They've obviously honed their playing down to a fine art. The rhythm section is powerful; Martin’s drums sound like Mike Tyson is punching the beats into them. The bass and guitar sometimes mush together into a lump of chugging but it sounds good. As I mentioned, there a lot of blues in their music, with Huth’s guitar in particular erupting in many nice little licks. “Pray for Sound” being the highlight of the album and a good example of Huth’s playing, however, he seems to be stuck in a guitar rut as there’s not much variety on The Indian Tower.  Most of the songs sound very similar with these guitar lines. There are a couple of tracks that steer clear of the same old riffs such as “I Learn the Hard Way,” which has some delicious fingerpicked acoustic guitar. The lyrics aren't the best I've ever heard but they fit with the music.

Pearls and Brass won’t be praised as being saviours of rock for this album. The Indian Tower is a good, if run-of-the-mill, album.  There are no surprises on it but serves its purpose in stimulating rhythmic head nodding. That's about all it will stimulate.


Last Updated on Wednesday, 15 March 2006 11:55  


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