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Album Preview: Bromhead’s Jacket heads over to the US

By Ilana Sivachenko
Published: October 2008

A pleasant blend of rock, pop, punk, and shoegaze (a type of alternative rock), Bromheads Jacket is here to say hello, and it’s about time Newton South say hello back. Bromheads Jacket, one of the biggest underground bands in the United Kingdom, is classier than the Arctic Monkeys and crazier than the Streets. The etymology of the band’s name is from a purely fictional story about a man named Billy Bromhead. Billy’s saga began in Vietnam in 1966, when Billy was injured in a mortar attack while wearing a jacket that was passed down through many generations of men in his family. The band has promised to find this fictional man’s son and pass on the jacket.

Underground bands have a long history of bursting onto the scene, and British bands in particular only seem to make it onto U.S. airwaves every few years. Bromheads Jacket has played everything from hole in the wall gigs to large concert halls. Many of these performances have been dedicated to giving up-and-coming musicians their time in the limelight.

Being signed to an independent record label means that Bromheads Jacket, relies mostly on word of mouth to spread their music, but as online music gains popularity, it is much easier for bands to gain cult followings that parallel the Beatles and Pink Floyd. Bromheads Jacket isn’t there yet, but it has become obvious that they may be among the next British bands to break onto the music scene.

Hailing from Sheffield in Northern England, Bromheads Jacket is comprised of Tim Hampton (Vocals and Guitar), Jono West (Bass and Backing Vocals) and Dan Potter (Drums). Like a phoenix from the ashes, Bromheads Jacket was born from the fragments of a band called Fixated.

A departure from their first album Dits From the Commuter Belt, On the Brain showcases a fresh perspective for Bromheads Jacket. Produced by Ross Orton (M.I.A., XX Teens), it seems that the band has found a style that fits them seamlessly and each song catchier than the last.

The band is no longer lo-fi but they’re distorted to perfection. Their music is no longer hyperactive and noisy electric, but a much deeper and more intimate brand of rock, with their songs varying from loud to soft, they have found harmony in their album. The new album is less experimental and D-I-Y but stronger in all other aspects.

The group cites inspirations such as Squeeze, Nightingales, Jon Mclure, Killing Joke and early Bowie, while reflecting their own Sheffield counterparts Arctic Monkeys and Milburn. With such an interesting combination of inspirations, it is no wonder that Bromheads Jacket creates such so original and playful music.

Unlike Dits From the Commuter Belt, On the Brain tells fewer stories and dips further into their raw potential.

Songs like “Recover could send Bromheads Jacket to the top of the charts, and everyone’s iPods. With brooding lyrics and a guitar sound reminiscent of Nirvana unplugged, “Recover dwells on a lost relationship with the quotable lyric “I don’t seem to know where I’m going/I’m spinning round and I’m out of control. The song isn’t entirely quiet however, like most of the songs in On the Brain it picks up speed and loses it just as quickly.

Likewise, the song “Promises, Promises holds a lot of promise, no pun intended.  As the song starts out, you can almost hear Jeff Buckley’s “Hallelujah in the guitar and the quiet voice. The song is relatively calm for Bromheads Jacket, eerily so. A mellow mix of harmonies and sweet-as-pie lyrics, “Promises, Promises is one of the most beautiful songs on the album.

The band has done very well all over the world, traveling across Europe and the UK, they’ve played in the Netherlands, Germany and Austria. Currently, the band is touring in the UK and looking forward to a tour in the US soon.

With its unique brand of misleading song titles and strong lyrics discussing topics ranging from politics to love, Bromheads Jacket is going to go far, from here on out it is smooth sailing to the top for these British rockers with extreme talent. With the help of bloggers, high school newspapers, and their own fans, Bromheads Jacket cannot be denied a place in our futures and our Music sections on Facebook.

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