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Music journalist Travis Hay drops some knowledge and insight about local and national music news, offers reviews and offers a place for conversation on all things music.
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REVERBfest 2008: Brothers of the Sonic Cloth (feat. Tad Doyle)

October 5th, 2008 by travis hay

Sometimes I like to imagine what it would be like if people other than John McCain and Barak Obama were running for president. For example, wouldn’t it be funny if Chris Rock were the a presidential nominee (Wait, wasn’t that a movie already?) or if McCain chose a Tina Fey doppelganger for a running mate (Wait, didn’t he already do that?).

Well, if Tad Doyle, former singer of grunge heavyweights TAD and current frontman for three-piece outfit Brothers of the Sonic Cloth, were running for president I am sure his motto would be to speak softly and carry a big ax. And he definitely carries a big ax, in a metaphorical sense that is.

You see Doyle is a pretty imposing man with a rather large frame. Seeing him on stage pounding out heavy, sonically dense riffs while belting out ferocious screams is quite a spectacle of rock. Because of his large frame, when he straps on a guitar it looks like he’s playing a tiny Guitar Hero controller, not an instrument of musical destruction. But the music he makes with Brothers of the Sonic Cloth is quite far from anything tiny.

Brothers of the Sonic Cloth’s set at the Sunset during REVERBfest started off with about 30 seconds of a loud rumble, a sound so deep and loud its heaviness was nearly palpable. That growing rumble set the stage for a 30 minutes of nothing but psychedelic, ear-blasting goodness.

While TAD has been inactive for quite some while it was clear Doyle hasn’t forgotten how to rock. At the beginning of the set he played his seemingly small ax against a stack of amplifers and stepped on effect pedal after effect pedal, creating layers of massive riffs while turning the Sunset into one big wall of sound. I don’t recall any real vocals in any of the songs, but there were several guttural screams that were unmistakably Doyle’s.

Although I didn’t get to sample all of the 64 bands at REVEBfest, I feel confident in declaring Brothers of the Sonic Colth’s set of the heaviest of the day. Actually, having seen TAD in the mid-90s, I might even go so far as to say Brother of the Sonic Cloth is heavier than anything Doyle created during TAD’s heyday. Nah, that’s not possible, so I’ll retract that remark.

Brothers of the Sonic Cloth’s set was filled with booming energy and pure power from Doyle and his highly competent rhythm section, and it was a great early evening set for REVERBfest. KEXP broadcasting the set to the masses during its annual pledge drive, exposing thousands to the heavy wonderment of Brothers of the Sonic Cloth, made it all the more sweet (Take that you trendy, indie hipsters).

If Doyle were indeed running for office, KEXP’s worldwide broadcast would have made for a great way to announce his candidacy. It would have been something akin to dropping a musical atomic bomb on the pomposity of modern politics and I am sure it would have gained him countless swing votes. Just remember, when you go to the polls in less than a month vote Tad Doyle and his running mates, Brothers of the Sonic Cloth.

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Music journalist Travis Hay drops some knowledge and insight about local and national music news, offers reviews and offers a place for conversation on all things music.