Brimstone Howl
"Big Deal. What's He Done Lately?"

(Alive Records 2009)Brimstone Howl - Big Deal. What\'s He Done Lately?

If you strip all the reverb and effects out of Brimstone Howl's music and turn down their equipment, what do you have? It's an interesting question that kept popping into my mind while listening to the Omaha, Nebraska, band's fourth full-length record, "Big Deal. What's He Done Lately?" Their garage rock sound brings to mind The Cheater Slicks. Of course, the Cheater Slicks have a livelier, messier sound than Brimstone Howl as "Big Deal" jumps and kicks but never gets too out of control or too far out of line.

The majority of the album contains instrumentally tight tracks that deliver a bit of substance while avoiding what would be considered catchy or instantly memorable parts. "Suicide Blues," a stand-out track on "Big Deal," sounds like a dirty, grimy version of The Velvet Underground's "I'm Waiting For The Man." But tracks like "M-60" jump and shake all over the place while a short electric guitar solo squeals. The slide guitar of "Easter At The Lewises'" adds a more country sound to their traditional garage rock.

So back to my original question: what do you have if you strip all audio "extras" from Brimstone Howl? Without all the reverb, Brimstone Howl would probably be a slightly less interesting band. With the extra "ambiance," Brimstone Howl's "Big Deal. What's He Done Lately?" sounds more authentic. Plus you don't even need to buy it on vinyl to get that added atmosphere. "Big Deal" is an album you'll put on while you're hanging out around the house and every once in a while you'll find yourself drawn to a different bit you hadn't heard before. Dig it.

B

buy it!