Little Brother Eli

Little Brother Eli – Cold Tales

Isn’t is about time for a Reef revival?” said no-one ever.  Apart, it seems, from Oxford blues-rockers Little Brother Eli, whose debut album is clearly in thrall to Somerset’s, er, finest.

LBE drop names like The Black Keys and The White Stripes, and occasionally – very occasionally, such as the rifftastic ‘Who Do You‘ – they sound like they have the potential to be a lot of fun, albeit of the sweaty, drunk, rudimentary kind (and I say that as a big fan of the sweaty, drunk, rudimentary kind of fun).

But there’s one huge problem here, and that’s singer Alex Grew’s teeth-curling vocals.  You know the karaoke scene in Ted, when he says “this is how everyone sang in the 90s” before singing Hootie & the Blowfish? Grew seems to have taken this as his inspiration, and his vocals are so horribly affected that they render much of this album unlistenable.  “Sister” becomes “Sistoooaaahhhh.”  “Phone” becomes “phoowoonn.”  Yeah, I’d love to tell you all my problem – you’re not from Mississippi, you’re from Oxford.

The sweating blues rock later gives way to the kind of stomping beardy lumberjack folk and country popularised by the godawful likes of The Lumineers or Edward Sharpe, by which point it’s about as welcome as, er, a Reef revival.

God is in the TV is an online music and culture fanzine founded in Cardiff by the editor Bill Cummings in 2003. GIITTV Bill has developed the site with the aid of a team of sub-editors and writers from across Britain, covering a wide range of music from unsigned and independent artists to major releases.