Real Control

Moneybrother's Anders Wendin belongs to a school of frontmen who aren't afraid to sound like the singers that inspired them. The Hives' Pelle Almqvist mimics Iggy Pop; the Hold Steady's Craig Finn copies Bruce Springsteen; and Wendin sounds eerily like the late Joe Strummer.

But Moneybrother avoid sounding like a straight Clash clone because they don't halt at London Calling. Traces of David Bowie, the Jam and Elvis Costello are all over Real Control's 11 tracks as well, keeping things fresh and interesting from start to finish. From the reggae tune "We Die Only Once (And For Such A Long Time)" to the insanely catchy "Guess Who's Gonna Get Some Tonight," Real Control is an uplifting mix of soul, pop and rock 'n' roll that never lets up.

Spanning all those influences and genres feels dizzying at first, but after a few listens, the album's wild transitions between styles and genres becomes a vital aspect of Moneybrother's charm. The soft piano ballad "6 AM" shifts into the electric rocker "Feel Like Hurting Somebody," and while such changes would feel random in the hands of lesser musicians, Moneybrother place an addictive chorus in every song, tying it all together perfectly.

So yes, Moneybrother wear their influences on their sleeves, but they've got so damn many, it's impressive they were able to fit them all in so nicely. More importantly, Real Control is a real pleasure to sing along too, turning an interesting record into an essential listen. 

Bladen County

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