Leon casino, Mockingbird Brother. Photo: Nikki Machacek
There are times when a band is so dynamic that they produce a sound stronger than any genre you could place them into. Sometimes a band can be more than the sum of its parts, can take on multiple sounds, and create something that’s unique only to them. For Houston’s Mockingbird Brother, that’s pretty much the case. Mixing emo core, math rock, and screamo, they’re really more than the three members who comprise the band. Full of spite infused energy, their latest track “Dry Heave,” found exclusively here, is passionate and intense, making you wonder where they would fit if you tried to pigeonhole them, though you’d probably be best to steer clear of any labels with music this eclectic.
Starting off with a more emo opening, the subtle beginning gives you impression of an easygoing band, which is far from describing them. Opening with just guitar and vocals, things start off in a simple, almost endearing manner. However, the build afterward is anything but straightforward and becomes more intense with each passing note. The drums come in like the beginning stages of a heart attack, while squealing guitars and bass find their way into the song before the group employs a math heavy and scream induced howl. The song, as per the band, has themes of depression, alcoholism, and simply being honest with yourself. However, even if you didn’t know any of that, the fierce and acute precision they offer up together creates a sound that’s catchy but far from polished. The way in which the instruments mix with the gut wrenching vocals, the intensity of the riffs, and the stride of the song, it sounds like the band could explode at any given moment.
The end result is a track that captures multiple sides of a band that’s stronger than many of the others within the genres they criss cross. The way the song maintains a catchy demeanor without too much effort, not to mention that it feels like it’s being performed on stolen gear, it’s hard not to wonder why Mockingbird Brother isn’t more prominent in Houston.
You can catch Mockingbird Brother with Bernie Pink for their tour kickoff show at Avant Garden tonight. The 21 & up show will get going around 11 pm and it’s free.