The Tables Turn Too Often

Brother Reverend

Muted Strings, 2018

REVIEW BY: Tom Haugen


An album penned, arranged and even produced by frontman Keith Xenos (he also plays several instruments here), who founded the outfit alongside drummer Fletcher Liegerot (Cat Power), as Brother Reverend the project recruits a small handful of players on the eclectic, genre defying album that was recorded to analog tape.

“The Tables Turn Too Often” starts the album off with warm acoustic strumming and even warmer vocals in a fun combination of Motown, surf rock and folk rock, and “Family Housing” follows with playful pop influences in their often retro formula.my_heart_sings_the_harmony_web_ad_alt_250

Elsewhere, “Anything New” brings the pace and volume down to country influenced sounds complete with a pedal steel, while “Carry The Difference” recruits some Lou Reed inspiration into the multifaceted, cautious rocker that even hosts some unconventional noisemakers. The pair end the first side with the careful bluesy rhythm and flirtatious pop sensibilities of “North By Sunset”, and the nostalgic melody of “Monkee”, where folk-rock enters the equation.

Side B ups the ante and offers us the beautiful interplay on the classic pop ideas of “Charles Ng”, the key friendly and bouncy setting of “Plot Twist”, and the breezy classic rock-ish feelings of “Stranger”, which is easily the best tune present. Near the end, “Another Hand” emits some rootsy and psyche-influences, and “The Last Time” ends the album with restrained tunefulness that builds into meticulous exploration that will have you pondering if, in fact, Brother Reverend are the most exciting rock band today.

The Tables Turn Too Often preaches a unique brand of gospel, where nods to The Velvet Underground, Ray Davies, The Beach Boys, Echo & The Bunnymen, Bob Dylan, The Kinks and countless other legends exist, and though this record took 4 years to make, it sure seemed worth it. Though they started in Georgia, these days Brooklyn is home, and not only are they fitting in with the vast musical talent around them, they're surpassing it.

Rating: A-

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