Single Review: Brass Against - "Umbra"
It’s not too often that a band comes along who is completely unique, but that’s the most appropriate classification for Brass Against. Although the brass-based, hardcore infused band made their initial mark with memorable hard rock and heavy metal covers of Black Sabbath, Pantera, Tool, Rage Against The Machine, etc. they’re now ready to unleash their first original music with their self-titled, 3-song EP (due out April 10, 2020) and have given us our first taste of it with lead single “Umbra.” A great guitar riff pulls us into the song as it gives way to a pulsating rhythm that builds through the intro before slapping us with two, quick toots of the horn and the electrifying scream of opening line “Just breathe” from vocalist Sophia Urista. Using almost a whisper in her voice, Urista wraps her vocals around us as she pulls us through the verses, making the screams of the “just breathe” chorus that much more powerful, and unexpected when they hit. Coming from a music theory background helps give their songwriting exciting touches that you don’t otherwise hear, such as when they momentarily change tempo midway through the song and offer an entirely new dynamic to it. There’s the obvious influence of hard rock and heavy metal prevalent throughout the song, but the brass addition to it gives this a feel that you wouldn’t think should work, but they someone make it so. Couple that with their songwriting prowess, and you get a song that you really can’t classify one way or the other. As soon as you think you have “Umbra” figured out, intriguing new elements are introduced to its rhythm and instrumentation that immediately challenge the box you try to put this in.