Confession time of sorts; last year Lee the esteemed overlord of The Sleeping Shaman emailed me asking if I could pick up APF Records upcoming release, the debut album for the utterly delightful and mad as a box of frogs London trio, The Brothers Keg. Faced with a dwindling number of things left on my Netflix viewing list and always keen to hear what was catching the ear of the label’s one-man dynamo Andrew Field I said sure, shrugged my shoulders and after getting the files pressed play.
Almost a year later to the day of release thanks to COVID, Brexit, worldwide shipping issues, vinyl material shortages Folklore, Myths And Legends Of The Brothers Keg will finally be arriving on the doorsteps of those who ordered the beautifully garish 12” version, the touted reissue date of which was July. A delay to be honest that isn’t the worst I have experienced as my pre-order of Off Kilter Enhancement from earthtone9 has been booted twice now and I hope to see it early 2022.
Still, it is with great anticipation I look forward to returning home this week to retrieve this album from the hedge the postman has no doubt chucked it.
Released 8th September 2020 it has quickly become one of the most sort after and biggest selling APF releases, hitting number 4 on The Doom Charts with rave reviews from the likes of Kerrang! The Obelisk and Distorted Sound, hence prompting cries for the (since delayed) vinyl reissue.
Why? Because it is just excellent that’s why.
At the time I (admittedly) nit-picked a few things in my review, one of which had nothing to do with the album itself but the digital file I had and having gotten proper versions of it my potential small complaint about the uneven production no longer applies and having had the chance to live with the album over a longer period of time, the ebb and flow helps keep the listener from being overwhelmed by everything that is going on.
As you peel back the layers of the what The Brothers Keg have produced, you have to admire the album even more. Folklore… is a delicious soup of psychedelic stoner rock which in itself is not a new concept, however it is executed in a well-paced, carefully constructed epic tale. Much like good TV series, books or films, the overarching plot and long-term story telling is the concept on which success is built and the crazy tales of legend hang together perfectly. Make no mistake, a year later and it’s still fucking nuts, but musically it’s still as sublime as ever and more moments stand out like the other worldly, winding solo on Brahman.
APF have been doing a good job in their vinyl releases in terms of pacing and, it must be said, the quality of presentation thus far. This album has jumped the queue in terms of the expected strategy that has been applied to other members of their roster and this is all credit to the band as Folklore… has connected and been rightly embraced by people in their droves. As such the upcoming reissue is no exception. Coloured in a delightfully garish ‘Hot Pink’, it couldn’t be anymore over the top and befitting of The Brothers Keg and it will be a treat to see the colourful, cartoon like cover is full sized glory.
In the stark isolation of 2020, with the ominous, droning media updates, the daily death counts, the frustration of life being postponed and events pushed further down the line, three shadowy figures rode from the mist and delivered a bludgeoning, belligerently fun album; one so removed from the real world and immersed in the legends of their own creation that they swept all asunder with a relentless charm and banished the darkness, even if only for a brief moment.
The Brothers Keg may not have been the heroes we asked for, but they were definitely the heroes we needed.
Scribed by: Mark Hunt-Bryden