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Steve'n'Seagulls - "Brothers In Farms" (CD)

Steve'n'Seagulls - "Brothers In Farms" CD cover image

"Brothers In Farms" track listing:

1. Aces High
2. Sad But True
3. Wishmaster
4. It's A Long Way To The Top
5. You Could Be Mine
6. November Rain
7. In Bloom
8. Symphony Of Destruction
9. Fill Up The Tank
10. Burn
11. The Pretender
12. Self Esteem
13. Out In The Fields
14. Born To Be Wild

Reviewed by on December 2, 2016

"The massively cross-genre cover formula seems to work better the other direction, with metal bands covering pop or country songs, and as a whole “Brothers In Farms” is an interesting idea that just fails to hold attention from beginning to end."

A host of truly weird stuff arrives in my email pretty regularly seeking review at Metalunderground.com, with some very tongue-in-cheek and others more straight faced. Steve'N'Seagulls is more the former, essentially starting as a joke but gaining steam after going viral online. A bunch of Finnish bluegrass hillbillies covering rock and metal tunes certainly isn't the most outlandish thing I've heard over the years, but its up there.

The cover artwork for “Brothers In Farms” pretty much tells you everything need to know about the album: a dude in overalls wearing bucket armor and a washboard astride a horse wandering through the wilderness. It's a ridiculous juxtaposition, but a fun one. From “Aces High” to “Born To Be Wild” to “Symphony of Destruction,” Steve'N'Seagulls offers up very different renditions of classic tunes.

Although I love the idea in theory, there is an issue here: “Brothers In Farms” is much more amusing in theory than in execution, as the joke sort of overstays its welcome over 14 tracks. The lack of power in the vocals and backwoods string picking is funny with some of the songs, but sort of head-scratching or even annoying on others.

The vocals on “Symphony of Destruction” and “Sad But True” in particular don't really work in this format, and rather than leading to laughter or simply enjoyment at a different interpretation, they sort of just make me want to listen to the original songs. That being said, the bluegrass renditions overall are amusing for a listen or two, if for no other reason than to say you've heard “November Rain” performed by guys probably brewing moonshine in the backyard near the outhouse.

The massively cross-genre cover formula seems to work better the other direction, with metal bands covering pop or country songs, and as a whole “Brothers In Farms” is an interesting idea that just fails to hold attention from beginning to end.

Highs: You aren't going to hear anything like this anywhere else

Lows: The lack of power in the vocals and instrumentation will remind you why metal is metal and bluegrass is bluegrass

Bottom line: Fun idea in theory, even if the implementation is less than awe-inspiring.

Rated 2.5 out of 5 skulls
2.5 out of 5 skulls


Key
Rating Description
Rated 5 out of 5 skulls Perfection. (No discernable flaws; one of the reviewer's all-time favorites)
Rated 4.5 out of 5 skulls Near Perfection. (An instant classic with some minor imperfections)
Rated 4 out of 5 skulls Excellent. (An excellent effort worth picking up)
Rated 3.5 out of 5 skulls Good. (A good effort, worth checking out or picking up)
Rated 3 out of 5 skulls Decent. (A decent effort worth checking out if the style fits your tastes)
Rated 2.5 out of 5 skulls Average. (Nothing special; worth checking out if the style fits your taste)
Rated 2 out of 5 skulls Fair. (There is better metal out there)
< 2 skulls Pretty Bad. (Don't bother)