The Como Brothers band is: Andrew Como (Guitar/Vocals), Matt Como (Bass/Vocals), Tim Costello (Keyboards/Vocals), John O’Keefe (Percussion/Vocals/Auxillary Keyboards) and Jeremy Scalchunes (Drums) and they’ve just released their first full-length album, Baby Steps.
Baby Steps is a story told through jaunty riffs and bass lines wading effortlessly through volatile rhythm structures. Honest, flirtatious and raw, The Como Brothers mesmerize via ethereal harmonies and pop-riddled melodies with dance hooks. The album carries a rock’n’roll gusto infused with jazzy elegance and soul in the clever and unique lyrical style. All this, while remaining light years ahead of the stale pop mush being spoon-fed to consumers by today’s “giants” and mere shadows of the past, who parade themselves as the “next big things” – or something.
Well, somewhere between introductory track, ‘Gotta Be True’ and closer, ‘Bad Karma’, the Como brothers establish themselves as the act to see in New York.
A full-force boom of riffs greets the listener with the first song, which is probably what it would have sounded like if The Yardbirds crashed a John Mayer concert and gave tribute to Elvis. It has the high energy of riffs on Train Kept a Rollin’ and the smoother tones of Mayer, with a ‘Hound Dog’ playfulness in the overall sound.
‘It’s gotta be true, I’m growing on you.”
Indeed, they do, and pretty quickly too. As the song segues into the bridge, it forms a powerful contrast to the rest of the sonic dynamic, and beautifully so; vulnerable, moving with a satin flow…
‘Numbed’ then tumbles in with a sweet acoustic intro and gliding bass-vocal mix; together they create a laidback atmosphere only to have it torpedoed by a feverish guitar solo – another subtle wink at the blues-inspired greats of the past and an electric shock to the senses after the pop-ish sugar coma prior.
Released as a single, ‘Straight Face’ is the sunnier fourth track with a spring in its step and bohemian New York flair. It is a jazzy, acoustic-rocky, heartbreaker of a song, whereas the second single, ‘Late Nights’ is its direct opposite.
Emanating an acerbic sharpness, ‘Late Nights’ moves away from the calmer Long Island environment, capturing instead, the steely breeze which befalls the city at night. The introductory guitar is acidic and piercing, though it holds the deliciousness of rock’n’roll for all of its sensual, grimy, beautiful unruliness.
Whether it’s the dreamy escapade that is ‘Chasing Ambience’ or the bombastic ‘Make a Move’, the dynamism of this album from one track to the next, is what keeps it captivating and so consistently good. Moving along with clear focus, Baby Steps is angsty, young and playful, but more than that, it’s significant.