Smug Brothers - Fortune Rumors (2011) - a brief evaluation
They're not smug (at least not conveying so on record) and as far as I can tell none of the five members are blood relatives, let alone siblings. Dayton's Smug Brothers do however specialize in songs with an average span of a mere ninety seconds to two minutes, frequently bearing absurd but amusingly titled nuggets as "Superior Jitter Case" and "Westward Triangle Revival." They also happen to have one Don Thrasher in their roster, former skin pounder for Guided By Voices who jumped ship just before Robert Pollard and Co. would hit pay dirt. If you have a hunch as to where I'm going with all of this, not so fast. Despite the staggering brevity of their compositions, not to mention the mid-fidelity aesthetic this quintet is seemingly tethered to, the Smug Brothers have a mind of their own. Their most recent offering, the digital-only Fortune Rumors is no Bee Thousand, or for that matter Earthquake Glue, yet GBV and the Brothers stem from the same root, without the latter being too derivative of the former. In fact, nothing particularly surreal or whimsical surfaces on ...Rumors (then again, nothing whimsical has imbued any of Pollard's more recent recorded ventures, but I digress). The Smug Brothers antecedents could have just as logically been Spoon or Centro-matic...or how about no one in particular at all? This is a band that's gradually charting their own inspired course, and like any soldier that marches to beat of their own drummer, they beg to be experienced firsthand. Visit their Bandcamp page and make a donation to purchase Fortune Rumors NOW!