Although not having shows to go to has my mental health at an all time low, the influx of albums sitting on my desk and sitting in my queue online has me optimistic about the future of the music industry. People aren’t giving up and that makes me so happy. What makes me happier is the name of the band I dug into this morning, “Brass and Body Works”. If you know me, you know I have an unhealthy obsession with Bath & Body Works candles (I mean, who doesn’t) so it felt fitting to light my current scent obsession (white tea and sage), sit back, and relax to the tunes of this amazing ten piece band from right here in Minneapolis (which made me even happier than the name of this band).
Brass & Bodyworks’ ‘The Bathhouse EP’ starts off with a bang. “Comin’ in Cold” sets the stage for what’s to come with this entire release and, for a pretty sleepy Saturday with a laundry list of chores that needed to get done at some point today, it was the perfect way to kick my day off. Instantly smacking you in the face with a light-hearted brass band sound and vibe, I couldn’t help but let the smile take over my face as I just sat back and grooved around in my desk chair through the track. The prominent sousa lines performed by Alec Paquin were steady and powerful while being creative and taking you on a journey that you may not be quite ready for. Although I’m the type of person that honestly thinks all brass bands kind of sound the same (no offense and that doesn’t mean I don’t love brass bands), I was instantly picking up on elements that set Brass & Bodyworks apart from the rest.
“Bathhouse” takes the party vibe laid out in “Comin’ in Cold” and makes it a little sexier while still staying playful. Instead of bouncing up and down in my chair like an idiot, this song found me swaying along to the beat and finding a sense of calm as the entire group comes in for portions of this song here and there. I loved every single solo in this song and it quickly became clear that although everyone in this band knows they are in a brass band and plays like that, they all bring some different influences to the table. From jazz to rock to an almost hip-hop vibe from some of the soloists, I knew it would take me a couple hundred listens to this EP to really get the full effect from the ten amazing musicians that make up Brass & Bodyworks. “Bathhouse” stops suddenly and gives way to “Rob’s Clawfoot Tub”.
“Rob’s Clawfoot Tub” brings a whole new vibe to this quick EP. A little bit slower and feeling more intentional than party, this song has a giant sound that just shows the size and magnitude of this group. There’s something about it that almost sounds anthemic but, at the same time, I feel like anthemic is the wrong word to use (I just honestly can’t think of anything better). With trumpets blaring over the steady drumming from Lars Johnson and Erk Schee, although this song seems to be a little less in your face, it’s just as catchy and showcases the true musicianship behind everyone in the group.
The EP moves quickly into “Vitamin H” which probably had my favorite intro out of the five songs on this release. Yes, that’s right, I’m a sucker for a good sousa. Did you catch onto that? Sliding notes join in before an almost sticcato trumpet part blends the whole thing together. With so many elements coming in one by one, it gave me time to take them all in all of their glory before the entire group started playing as a whole. Closing out this fun and all-too-short EP is “Kingfield” which was the perfect closer to a perfect EP. Again, showcasing all of the musicians both as soloists and as a group, I was lost for words and descriptions as this song played through and my house was left with a eery silence.
Sure, you could call brass bands “all the same” and “fun but, you know, just loud and in your face” as I have up to this point but listening to ‘The Bathhouse EP’ by Brass & Bodyworks is sure to change your mind a little bit. The genius behind this EP is that they take everything you think you know about brass bands and turn it around. They make you listen to every single element and open your eyes to just how much coordination and love it takes to be in a brass band like this. I mean, come on, finding a time for ten whole members to get together and practice at the same time is a feat in itself. Taking those ten people and creating a group where there doesn’t seem to be a fight for attention on the recording while still giving everyone a chance to shine is truly remarkable.
If you’re like me, you know that your mental health has tanked with everything going on right now whether you admit it to other or not. This is a weird time we are living in and everything seems to have been turned upside down. Finding an escape from everything is a super important thing right now and Brass & Bodyworks will be an escape that I intend to use multiple times in the near future.
Get lost in some music instead of your head.
My Favorite Track(s): Literally all 5 of them.
For Fans Of: Dancing around your house like an idiot; Smiles; Sunshine; In your face intentional chaos
Daydream-ability: 7.6 out of 10
What My Cats Thought Of It: Artie laid on my arms as I tried to type this entire post so please blame him for any typos; Autumn laid on my bed sleeping
How Badly I Want To See This Live: 10 out of 10
My Overall Rating: 4.8 out of 5
Check Out Brass & Bodyworks Here:
Shameless Self Promotion- Donate Here To Keep This Blog Alive!