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Punch Brothers: Like Pilates for the Ears

Posted by November 21st, 2012 No Comments »

Punch Brothers
Who’s Feeling Young Now?
Nonesuch Records

This summer, a friend of mine turned me on to Nashville’s Punch Brothers and I’ve been hooked on the band ever since.

Bluegrass doesn’t quite describe it; neither does neo-classical or folk. They are a string quintet like no other, weaving complex, frenetic tangents of dissonance and thrilling dynamics transcending genres. Admittedly disconcerting at first, their music gets more enjoyable with each listen.

Who’s Feeling You Now?, the band’s third release, is an absolute marvel. I’d like to alternatively title it Who Needs Drummers and Electricity Anyway?

The opener, “Movement and Location,” pulls in some amazing hooks and winds around surprisingly poppy twists and turns. There’s a great variety within the tracks, referencing traditional bluegrass folk jams like the instrumental “Flippen (the Flip)” as well as complex elements of jazz, R&B, and soul.

Punch Brothers are like ear pilates, hurting at first but forcing me to become more flexible until I’m exhilarated. At least, that’s how I’d feel about pilates if I ever stopped geeking out on bands and went to the gym. – (9/10)


Punch Brothers play Seattle’s Neptune Theater on November 25 with The Milk Carton Kids. Tickets are $20. Leah Brzenzski also writes for Northern California’s Savage Henry Magazine.


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