In 2016, Birmingham based Broken Witt Rebels, won “Unsigned Band Of the Year” at the Unsigned Music Awards. Since then, the bluesy rockers have signed with Snakefarm Records and released their eponymous debut album, as well as appearing at several high profile festivals. Now, they will be accompanying Reef on their UK tour in November, and are set to release their latest E.P. “Snake Eyes” on August 10th.
The E.P. opens with the titular “Snake Eyes”. A doomy, bluesy opening riff underpins the vocalists hoarse, southern vocal tone. I was pretty shocked to find out that the band are actually from Birmingham, England and not Georgia, Texas or the like. Whatever the case, Danny Core on vocals does an excellent job of embodying that southern Americana vibe.
This is probably the most lively and upbeat track on the E.P., yet it’s still got a laidback, relaxed feeling to it. Specifically, in the little interlude in the latter section of the song. The tone drops down and takes on a minimalist style, gradually building up momentum to an aggressive, brash explosion that carries through to the end of the song.
There’s a killer solo that wraps up the song, very much in line with the dirty, moody guitar playing throughout.
“Wait For You” is a mellow, melodic, bluesy pop song. It’s got choir-like, chorusy backing vocals, and soaring, poignant lead vocals reminiscent of early, before-they-sold-out Kings Of Leon.
The guitar playing isn’t overpowering, but there’s tasteful, melodic licks and fills throughout the song. The song picks up in the chorus. The vocals take on a little bit of an edge and there’s more of a driving feel to it. It’s a moody, melancholic song and the atmosphere is prevalent throughout.
As you would expect, the third, and penultimate track retains the laidback vibe of the previous songs. It starts with isolated, echoey vocals, setting the tone for the rest of the song. The mellow intro leads into a foot-stomping, fuzzy, driven chorus, before ultimately reverting back to the mellow base.
Towards the end of the song the fuzz comes back with an almost breakdown section that flows into a sharp, biting guitar solo the plays back into the chorus. It’s a very fluid, free-flowing song that seems to roll on without much more than its own momentum.
“Turn Me On” brings the curtain down on the E.P. Again, an easy, rolling, relaxed mentality is maintained. This one’s a little bit slower and has a little more swing to it. It seems to rock back and forth. Bouncing between smooth, quiet tremolo guitar based sections and much more hectic, noisy, forceful sections. It’s an interesting dynamic, simple but effective. There’s another great guitar solo and then, as if from nowhere, the song ends.
Snake Eyes contains four solid blues-rock songs. It’s a very chill, soulful E.P. perfect for kicking back and relaxing to, not for going out and partying to. There’s not a lot of urgency to it, it dictates its own pace and doesn’t compromise for the sake of convention. Broken Witt Rebels rarely deviate from the blueprints they’ve laid down throughout their career, but there’s enough variation to hold your interest and stop things from getting stale.
To me, the sound is like a combination of Old Kings of Leon mixed with the bluesy quirkiness of The Black Keys. Overall, it’s a very good E.P. and I’d recommend it to anyone in the mood for smooth, laidback blues.
Snake Eyes Track-Listing:
- Snake Eyes
- Wait for You
- Bang Bang
- Turn Me On
Review by Josh Farrell