Los Angeles folk-rock band He’s my Brother, She’s my Sister fronted by brother and sister Rob and Rachel Kolar, have been a consistent staple in the Los Angeles music scene for the past three years. They have a Vaudevillian aspect to their live show that seemingly changes with every date and while it’s all artsy and entertaining, the fun & games can sometimes distract from the excellent music. Upon seeing the top hats and plaid pants, you may be quick to dismiss them as gimmicky hipsters, however before you’re able to make up your mind, they begin playing and you instantly buy into their world.
Their first full length album Nobody Dances in this Town is a great debut that enthralls at the right moments. The recording starts out strong with three fairly straightforward bouncy rockers “Tales that I Tell,” “Let it Live Free” and the bluegrass infused “Let’s Go.” The album kicks into high gear with the classic, Stones infused jam “The Same Old Ground” which manages to be both familiar and fresh at the same time.
The albums title references Los Angeles’ often less than enthusiastic audiences, but bouncy tracks “Slow it Down” and “Electric Love” go a long way towards changing that. You can’t help but shake just a little bit with Rachel and Rob trading verses on “Slow it Down,” while Oliver’s upright bass provides a bouncy beat underneath it all. The sexy lyrics of “Electric Love” and Aaron’s slide guitar transports you to swamps and bayou’s you may or may not have ever visited, and when it’s done you feel a little dirty, but that’s kind of the point! “Clackin’ Heels” is a light hearted little ditty that lets drummer Lauren Brown showcase her skills as a tap dancer. It is a welcome addition and adds one more layer to an already eclectic mix of musicians.
Despite a few pitfalls, Nobody Dances in this Town gets better and better upon each listen and should be a welcome addition to anyone looking for a bluesy rocker that is honest in both its lyrics and presentation.