The founding “brothers,” Marcus Forsgren and Audun Storset from Trondheim, Norway, took their band name from Swedish children's movie The Brothers Lionheart (1977). But their music could hardly sound less Scandinavian. Radically nostalgic, it eagerly re-creates and combines mementoes of the Tornadoes, the Beatles, Star Trek, My Bloody Valentine — and most of all the Beach Boys.
Following Brian Wilson's architectural bent, they build and layer their tracks. Start basic — a drumbeat ("Bring It Down") or a lone piano ("Blue Wedding") — then pile on guitars, organs, swirly electronic effects, grandeur a go-go… and in come the vocals, solo or en masse, fragile sad-sweetness amid the melodious war the Brothers are conducting inside your head.
Early single "Hero Anthem" looks modest now amid the maelstrom — exemplified by "Blue Wedding" which swells into Smiley magnificence. While love may well be their subject by and large, the brouhaha renders most of their lyrics inaudible. But one that's readily understood is potential oddball hit "50 Souls and a Disco Bowl," a brash though improbable celebration of Northern soul, all “sparkling flashing lights” and “glamorous clothes.” From Trondheim to Malibu via Wigan. Is that world music then?