These Prairie Rock veterans resurface with a massive 60-song album called FLAK
Bloomington, IL’s The Something Brothers have been a hidden treasure of American Prairie Rock for far too long.
With their new album FLAK, however, this band—comprised of guitarists Tommy O’Donnell and Edwin Pierce, Ryan Nelson on bass, drummer John Ganser and singer Scott Lee Wilson—challenges the listener for their attention with a triple album containing 60 songs. Surely a group with this much material to offer in one sitting commands at least a cursory sampling of this massive collection of music, right?
You bet it does, pal. The Something Brothers not only exceed expectations, they do so in a manner that demands you listen to the entirety of FLAK. Like any proper Midwestern band, the Bros are an amalgamation of punk, power pop and prog rock that sets a table for a creative versatility that lends itself well to this anthology of new material.
VIDEO: The Something Brothers “Blind”
Throughout their years, the Bros have opened for such serious 90s heavyweights as Meat Puppets, The Smashing Pumpkins, Soul Asylum and Uncle Tupelo, thanks to their reputation as a killer live band. And in the above video for FLAK’s first single “Blind,” that prowess is exhibited in full display.
The group’s latest video, “Strange Girls,” is also well worth checking out also if you want to get a taste of the band onstage. Filmed inside Bloomington’s iconic Castle Theatre to a crowd of two–the bartender and what I can assume is a dancing roadie–playing out an all-too-familiar scenario as America’s music venues are just starting to open their doors back up to the public.
But make no mistake, these gentlemen are ready to get back out there to crowds, which they will be doing on July 24th when they celebrate the release of FLAK with a show at the Bloomington rock club Nightshop.
VIDEO: The Something Brothers “Strange Girls”
Yet when you take in the totality of FLAK, which was released in late June on Argosy Records, the SoBros weren’t merely resting on their laurels during COVID. Each of these 60 songs vividly showcase the uncanny ability of this group to explore the full landscape of the sound they’ve woodshedded since the mid-80s. And, like their Midwestern brethren Guided By Voices, harbor no problems in maximizing content without compromising the quality of the songwriting.
If you haven’t heard of the Something Brothers and you like to call yourself a fan of Midwestern college rock, remedy that oversight real quick by seeking out their music online. While FLAK will certainly keep you busy, check out their BandCamp page as well for further listening. 1987’s The Early Year is my personal favorite, as it feels like a bridge between The Plimsouls and The Replacements. These cats have history, and a documentary to prove it.
But right now you need to listen to FLAK. You’ll be hard pressed to find a better example of American Prairie rock diligence in 2021.