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The Belle Brigade
The Belle Brigade
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Reviewed: 4/25/2011 by Ryan


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Ethan and Barbra Gruska are The Belle Brigade. The brother/sister duo became a duo after Barbra had spent years as a touring drummer around Los Angeles and Ethan happened to be writing some great songs on his piano at home. Together they've formed the retro California pop version of Mumford and Sons. Not really, but the heavy acoustic vibe of their debut album doesn’t stray too far from that folk-rock vibe. On this album Ethan and Barbra show off very crisp harmonies throughout and a good ability to write some catchy songs. Early favorites are “Lonely, Lonely” and “Where Not to Look for Freedom” both of these songs are great songs that feature a very crisp and ear-pleasing vocal harmony from the Gruskas and both songs are upbeat tracks that could have easily could have been made in 1971 opposed to 2011. The problem with this album is that there aren’t enough songs like those two and while the music is great, it quickly becomes stale. Due to that retro vibe it’s hard to listen to consistently. Regardless, this is a good start and there are some definite playlist-worthy songs here to check out.

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