The Como Brothers impress with harmonics on “Imagination”
Although it may be difficult to explain my own tendency to enjoy the “pop rock” genre despite its bland and interchangeable nature (welcome to mainstream music), I just can’t seem to wholly abandon it for something more niche or distinctive. There’s something about those blasted one liners, infectious instrumentals and the ubiquitous theme of love and heartbreak that I simply cannot cut off. So, essentially, the pop rock duo of The Como Brothers are right up my (love/hate) alley.
The duo’s six-track album Imagination has a lot to prove however, as to stay ahead of the pack you do need something divergent about your sound, but paradoxically, a unique sound in this genre is nothing short of a miracle. Luckily, the brothers have an impressive track record, with their music already being featured on shows like Keeping Up With The Kardashians and MTV’s Real World Portland, in addition to having spent years playing with a Beatles cover band and working with Grammy award winning producers.
It all begins with “Good Enough For Me”, a rousing track with an uber-catchy chorus which you could probably commit to memory after three listens (surprise, surprise!): “I’m riding with my eyes on the distance, never gonna blind my existence, I’m gonna take a shot with what I’ve got, and that’s good enough for me”. Although these lines are rather cheesy and comically recycled from pop song to pop song, an electrifying guitar solo shakes things up near the end, promptly followed up by an exceptional harmony to cap off the track. Something else of note: there wasn’t anything particularly impressive or special about The Como Brothers’ voices, but the song as a whole still has the chops to get some run on today’s radio.
The duo gets smart in the following track, opting to start off with their wonderful harmonics this time around. “Tell You I’m Fine” is by far a more impressive vocal showing from Matt and Andrew, all the while still incorporating a memorable, funky fresh tune as per modern pop rock anthems. One thing ultimately becomes certain by the end of the song’s three-minute runtime: together, these two sound remarkable. This is followed up by “Chemicals” which is probably my favourite track on the album. Even more impressive than being the third catchy chorus in three tracks, is the back seat instrumental which pleasantly dips and dives as the pop rock brothers croon. “Chemicals” is definitely something I could sit back and relax to during some solitary summer drives.
The titular track on the album “Imagination” is definitely driven by the brothers’ John Mayer inspiration. In much the same way as the legendary playboy himself, the brothers are able to get that charming raspy sound just right, not just singing but serenading their listeners into submission. The delightful keyboard also drives the track, occasionally punctuated by some fantastic drumming courtesy of Steve Jordan. The strings are also particularly groovy in this track, especially towards the end with a short but provocative guitar solo.
All in all, The Como Brothers are unable to really churn out their own “unique” sound. The titular track “Imagination” sounded like something John Mayer could have released in his earlier days, and everything else might have a copycat on the Billboard Hot 100. However, the brothers do have voices which are quite distinct from other singers today, and with them being a “duo”, those voices together is in itself something spectacular to hear. The typical pop rock elements are also packaged into their music, whether it’s the catchy choruses or I’ve-hear-it-before-but-it-still-sounds-great instrumentals, it’s all included in Imagination. All that’s missing is some critical attention and The Como Brothers will be on the airwaves soon enough.