The title doesn’t have any deep meaning: it’s a statement of fact: Paris / Brussels purveyors of industrial sludge (their term) [P.U.T] is made up of three brothers with a taste for the likes of Godflesh, Killing joke, Sonic Youth, Scorn, and Unsane. They’re marking their twenty-first year of existence (as a band, not as brothers) with their sixth album, promising a blend of ‘noise, sludge-metal, industrial and punk to create a music that borrows to madness, emotion, heaviness and anger’.
The first track, ‘In Control’, works a claustrophobic, repetitive groove in the vein of recent Swans, only with mangled, impenetrable chthonic vocals and stuttering, mechanised percussion that’s stark, clinical, devoid of humanity. The snarling ‘Nothing’ brings the churning nihilistic grind of Godflesh as the backdrop to a bleak reflection on the fundamental algebra of capitalism.
The album is a mess of furious guitars frenetic percussion and frenzied vocals infused with samples thrown in all over the shop, often at the most unexpected points. ‘In Conflict’ is all about piledriving pace and it’s hard to tell were the samples end and the manic vocal delivery begins. It doesn’t matter: what matters is just how phenomenally intense it is. And it is phenomenally intense.
They venture into ‘Filth Pig’ era Ministry territory with the gritty dirginess of ‘Down’, which combines dingy guitars and distorted vocals with icy synths and top-heavy drumming with a snare that cracks like a whip through the overloading mass of distortion. And yet, somehow, it manages to pack in a hook, not to mention a searing guitar solo.
‘Oppressed’ packs a tight groove as it lunges into a deep, dark tunnel labelled ‘death disco’, while ‘Angry’ I appropriately-titled, a furiously snarling vocal attack pitched against a choppy overloading riff that’s simple but effective as it cuts and trudged repetitively in a stop/start cycle that’s got Ministry and Helmet all over it.
And it’s the variety that renders We Are Brothers’ such an engaging album: it’s heavy – in the best ways – but approaches heavy from myriad angles, keeping it varied, but without lessening the density. It’s distilled fury that defines the album’s character, and binds it as it trudges and blasts through all the shades of power-chord driven abrasion. And it absolutely hits the spot.