Album review: THE BREW – Control

The Brew - Control

Jazzhaus [Release date 24.02.14]

It’s sort of ironic that The Brew’s latest album should be released within spitting distance of the re-release of the Zeppelin catalogue.

The Brew – a blues/rock band from Grimsby, have been around since 2006 and have found widespread success in Europe, notably in the likes of Germany, Spain and Poland. Their fourth studio album The Third Floor (2012) was to quote the GRTR! review ‘as tight as a bear’s arse’, borrowing heavily on the late Sixties / early Seventies rock, but with echoes of U2.

Control, the latest offering from the three piece – a father/son rhythm section of drummer Kurtis Smith and ‘Dad’ Tim on bass, with young guitarist and front man Jason Barwick – continues to borrow heavily on rock’s elite, Zeppelin, Hendrix, and The Who.

And it’s classic stuff, recorded ‘live’ in the studio Control packs a jack rabbit punch that will continue to satisfy the converted.  It is, however, more singularly paced that its predecessor with fewer shades and the pedal seldom removed far from the metal.

It’s a sound that wears its ‘classic rock’ badging proudly in a manner not dissimilar to the likes of bands like Black Country Communion.  But while The Brew may not have the heritage of BCC and the like but they display no lesser talent.

You do, however, have to question the current fixation from certain quarters for the constant regurgitation of the sound of an era that simply can’t be bettered.  And the imminent opening of the Led Zeppelin vaults is likely to put imitators severely in the shade.  But if you want the ‘live’ experience, you’re unlikely to find more authentic purveyors than The Brew.  ***1/2

Review by Pete Whalley


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Pete Feenstra celebrated his 300th show in October 2019. Pete heads up a five-hour blues rock marathon when “Tuesday is Bluesday” from 19:00 GMT. Listen out also for his interview-based Feature show on Sundays (20:00 GMT)

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