By Jim Schutze
By Rachel Watts
By Lauren Drewes Daniels
By Anna Merlan
By Lee Escobedo
By Alice Laussade
By Scott Reitz
So-called supergroups are often less than super. But the reality is there's nothing wrong with an intriguing collection of stars joining forces to be a "really good-group."
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Middle Brother, a "really good-group" consisting of Taylor Goldsmith, John McCauley and Matt Vasquez—from promising young bands Dawes, Deer Tick and Delta Spirit, respectively—seems rather comfortable with staying true, and not reinventing themselves simply due to the alteration of stage-mates. For the most part, the Cali-cool warmth of Dawes is the dominant chromosome in the pool of indie DNA heard on the group's just-released self-titled affair. That's especially evident in "Million Dollar Bill," a laid-back number where the trio takes vocal turns, providing a peek into the record's sneaky cohesiveness. "Someday" and "Me Me Me," meanwhile, manage to shake off the golden gauze and play as a soundtrack to a '50s sock-hop that favors Pavement over poodle skirts. While sonically less ambitious than the Monsters of Folk—another so-called supergroup of three indie frontmen—this self-titled disc blends well into the catalogs of each the bands involved, even if a tad too well.
If the Monsters of Folk are the gold standard of frontman supergroups, then Middle Brother are the well-worn denim standard. And that's just fine.
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