46 Brigade make and play the sort of music that some people love to deride. You know, stuff like U2, Coldplay, Nickelback. I think I’ve figured out why: the music those sorts of bands play can reach inside you and make you have emotions. One minute you’re bopping along to a perfectly nice rock/pop song, the next minute you’re … feeling something! It sneaks up on you. Tears and snot can sometimes be involved. It’s messy and most people don’t like mess, so better to blame the music than just enjoy the ride.
This is a great record and the more people will want to say it isn’t the more its greatness will be confirmed.
It’s OK to feel something. That’s the whole point of music, isn’t it?
46 Brigade’s latest release, Into The Great Unknown, is an album worthy of mention in company of the likes of U2, Coldplay, Nickelback for a whole bunch of reasons, not only because it’s chokkas full of the sort of relatable music that some idiots find unfashionable, but because it’s also the equal of pretty much anything those three bands and their contemporaries have ever released. Yesterday’s heroes 46 Brigade most certainly are not.
That’s a big claim, isn’t it?
Well, here’s the straight dope. After the release of their debut long player, Reverse The Future, 46 Brigade’s second album took them seven years to make and what they’ve come up with is a slab of anthemic bangers that sounds like it came out of anywhere but Perth. Sure, we have a scene like no other, but we’re best known for our left-of-field indie/punk/electronica. Worthy music, great even, but it’s not crossing oceans or getting played on FM radio. Whereas, Into The Great Unknown has Platinum Record written all over it. It’s mainstream, slickly produced, radio friendly fare that middle Australia and the rest of the world are going to eat up for breakfast and then come back wanting more.
This music is the real deal. Crafty and well-crafted songs that showcase singer songwriter, Craig Ballantyne’s, voice, which has just the right blend of soaring incandescence and melancholy. The music feels like a Bugatti Veyron, a thrilling blend of luxury and horsepower capable of carrying you along at breakneck speed and then stopping on a dime like to take your breath away. And they have the petrol tickets to do it all day long.
46 Brigade is a band built for the power ballad. Theirs is music made for big stages in big arenas with big crowds of people all forgetting their small lives for a few hours and living a little. So, if you’re not afraid of letting go for a moment or two, you’re going to love riding the slipstream of the songs on Into The Great Unknown, with their sing along, Oh, Oh, Oh, Oh, choruses, sweet harmonies, soaring guitars, occasional excursions into strings and heartstring tugging breakdowns.
Turn your nose up if you like. Call it mainstream like that’s an insult. Make those snide comparisons with any successful band you’ve enjoyed deriding just because they dared to be successful. Say whatever you like, because it will be the proverbial water to a duck’s back as far as Ballantyne and his bandmates are concerned. Into The Great Unknown may be a misnomer, because it charts a familiar path, but 46 Brigade do it so very well that they can be forgiven any small detours into the banal. This is a great record and the more people will want to say it isn’t the more its greatness will be confirmed.
You can buy Into The Great Unknown here. It’s highly recommended that you do.
46 Brigade launch Into The Great Unknown at Rosie O’Grady’s, Perth on 17 September with support from Triple Engine and The Silent Deeds. Event info here.