Stories of Brothers, Tales of Lovers has been a long time coming. After being dumped from one label this 14-song album full of high-flying riffs and soaring vocals is finally seeing a release on Distort Light Records. It's a good thing. too. Sinister combines a retro prog-pop sensibility-- akin to Queen-- with a much more modern, crisp-sounding instrumentation.
Everything comes across as very theatrical on Brothers. From the first track, which opens with the chirping of birds and crickets as a person's whistling accents the lonely baby grand piano plunking away, it almost feels like the opening to some '50s musical. Like any good musical, the record is split into two acts-- tracks one through seven titled "Stories of Brothers" and tracks eight through 14 titled the "Tales of Lovers." The first half is a very high-energy affair that closes out with a more slow-cooking tune that crescendos with a choir before dropping back to singer Dan Moxon melancholically singing by himself with an acoustic guitar as the only backup. The next half, the "Tales of Lovers," is full of songs that are more at home in a jazz hall cabaret. "Demise" features a jam-out with hand-plucked string bass and a jaunty piano, while the tango-like opening to "Give In To The Night" is the perfect song to smoulderingly stare at a woman.
While Stories of Brothers, Tales of Lovers can be a tad self-indulgent at times with its influences, it's ultimately an album full of rollicking show tunes in need of a single narrative and once that happens, look out Broadway.