My Brothers Banned - "Five" CD Review (Off White Trash Records) ~ BrooklynRocks: NYC Music Blog

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

My Brothers Banned - "Five" CD Review (Off White Trash Records)

My Brothers Banned - 'Five' CD Review (Off White Trash Records)
My Brothers Banned is a Mohegan Colony-based musical collective which centers around vocalist/multi-instrumentalists Lyle Puente and the band released its latest album, Five, last month. This new disc is the band’s fifth in the past six years (missing Puente’s goal of five albums in five years) – with its rich vocal harmonies and hazy, jangle-pop instrumentation, it bears more than a passing resemblance to the music of The Byrds and Big Star.

Puente first hit the national radar with a 2006 article in the NY Times which profiled three musicians who found music as a “late-in-life” second career. The Times article noted that Puente’s “music did not take a serious turn until he and his family moved in 1999 from Brooklyn to Mohegan Colony…there he joined neighbors in an informal band, playing tunes by Woody Guthrie and the Carter family, among others.” After being challenged by his brother Eric (who plays drums on two tracks on the new disc, Puente said that the songs “came pouring out like mad”. My Brothers Banned’s first disc, Come With Me, was released in 2006 and Puetne wrote eight of the disc’s eleven songs.

In an interview with Music Moods, Puente said that “the band concept was to create melodic music based on harmony”. That is exactly what you have on this new eleven track (37 minute) disc - rich vocal harmonies combined with ringing guitars and a Phil Spector-style richly textured wall of sound. The lyrics are almost secondary to the music with the vocals conveying mood and texture - more than imparting importance through the words themselves.

This time out, Puente is joined by harmony vocalists Hillary Levitt (who has been a long-time collaborator), Margaret Canning and Patti Rothberg; the later sings on five on the disc’s eleven tracks. After building carefully crafted musical and vocal textures across the first ten tracks, the disc winds down on a mellow but upbeat note with the instrumental track “Five”.

Puente has said in a number of interviews that his next objective, after completing his five year plan, is to stop being so “studiocentric” and to start touring and playing live.

My Brothers Banned