Formed in 2012, and spearheaded by singer/songwriter Craig Ballantyne, 46 Brigade is a pop/rock project based in Perth, Australia. The music is melodically edgy, with a sound similar to bands like The Killers, Keane, Imagine Dragons and even Bruce Springsteen at times.
Initially Craig advertised for a drummer and bass player to work on song demos he had written, with a view to becoming both a ‘live’ performance and recording project. He was joined by drummer Bruce Fraser and bass player Dan Toal, however, after a few months Bruce left and a new drummer, Stefan Helbo joined the Brigade, along with an additional guitarist/vocalist, Matt Milford.
This 4 piece line up played some shows around WA, and soon started work on recording their debut album ‘Reverse The Future’. Just before recording started though, Dan left the band.
Craig, Stefan and Matt, continued as a 3 piece and released a single from the album in Oct 2012 called ‘Soldier’. It was a touching and heartfelt song about a mother’s grief after losing her soldier son to the attrocities of war. The song was picked up by ‘Legacy’, a charity supporting families of deceased servicemen and women, and became the anthem to their national advertising campaign throughout Australia in 2013.
46 Brigade were also asked to perform the song at the annual Anzac Day AFL commemorative match in front of a crowd of around 40,000 people at Patersons Stadium in Perth, WA.
After a series of successful shows and some radio airplay over the next few years, the band went on hiatus during 2016 to 2018 due to personal commitments. In early 2018, however, Craig penned a number of new songs and recorded many home studio demos, with a view to releasing a new album as soon as possible. The songs on this new project, arguably their best to date, had a fairly personal theme to them, and so Craig spent a lot of time working alone on tracking and production, before enlisting the huge musical talents of bass player Duncan MacKintosh and drummer Sam Pettit.
Together as a unit, they eventually picked and recorded 11 of the songs to form the band’s recent release, ‘into the great unknown’. In November 2019, the band decided to employ the mixing expertise of Swedish, Grammy Award winning mix engineer, Thomas Juth.
Over the next few months, Juth mixed the recorded stems at Svenska Grammofon Studios in Gothenburg, Sweden, and the songs burst into life!
In May 2020, 46 Brigade uploaded their brand new album to their Bandcamp page for purchase or streaming. Listen to the whole album here.
The first single lifted from the new album is ‘Pictures of Better Days’, an upbeat song with a kind of late 80’s west coast rock production. It is released on Spotify and many other online stores/streaming services from 10th June 2020.
For fans of a radio friendly, indie pop/rock sound, 46 Brigade are definitely worth a listen.
The band plans to play a CD launch and some shows around Perth in August (Covid restrictions permitting), and a WA regional tour later in the year.