BROKEN WITT REBELS
A corollary of cyclical resurgences in the popularity of particular musical trends engenders oversaturation within each scene, with a ceaseless influx of newcomers who succumb to imitative mediocrity. Many in the UK seem to be currently thriving on an aural diet of retro rock revelry, and the number of bands plying said audience with their fix of rock pastiche is ever-increasing. And, as with any oversaturated scene, those with genuine talent all too often get swamped by, and lost amongst, a plethora of subpar acts. Few bands shine through the masses, although young Brummie newcomers, Broken Witt Rebels, are primed to make their mark in the retro rock market if the quality of music on their latest EP, 'Georgia Pine', is anything to go by.
What's quite remarkable about this quartet is just how mature and refined their songwriting and performances are. Remarkable, that is, in terms of their relative youth. Just Danny Core's vocals alone sound like a 50-something guy drawing from a lifetime of experienced emotions, which is discernible in the tonality of his delivery. The controlled rock gruffness and profound soulful tones of his voice are just wonderful. Another curiosity with Broken Witt Rebels' music is the authenticity of their southern soul-blues rock stylings; you could easily be forgiven for mistakenly believing them to hail from the US, not Brummie land. However, subtle (or not so subtle?) references to their West Midlands origins can be evidenced in the lyrics to EP closer 'Guns', which is an ode to their home turf - "Born and raised where guns are made, we burn bright like a cigarette". Indeed they do burn bright, in each of the five compositions on offer here, which have as many subtly sonic nuances in their folds as they do overt sing-along passages. Press blurb mentions "serious hit potential". Sure, I'd go with that.
Engineered and produced by Tom Gittins, whose recent credits include none other than the legend that is Robert Plant, the five cuts on 'Georgia Pine' have a fantastic warm, analogue sound, which manages to accentuate and effectively convey the authenticity already inherent in the compositions. It's the icing on the cake for what is an incredibly impressive retro rocking EP. With three EPs now to their name in as many years, surely it's time for Broken Witt Rebels to venture into full-length territory. For now, though, it's another quick fix, showcasing just what they're capable of.
Review by Mark Holmes
15th April 2016
3) Georgia Pine
4) Getaway Man
COUNTRY OF ORIGIN:
"...an incredibly impressive retro rocking EP."