Scowl Brow's 2013 self-titled debut full-length was not only my favorite local release that year, it was one of my favorite albums period. The band's short, blatantly confessional punk-fueled rock songs are mighty earworms that stick with you long after hitting eject (not that anyone hits eject anymore). Vocalist/guitarist Robby Hale is the kind of unapologetic lyricist that makes the listener a little uncomfortable (like "Appetite for Destruction" era Axl Rose), but he and the band deliver his thoughts in such succinct, catchy pop-rock vessels that you likely stick around to hear the whole sordid story while learning every word.
Live, Scowl Brow is a force whose fans are half the show. Opening for Valient Thorr at Chop Shop in December, Scowl Brow roused the crowd to full blown unbridled, beer spewing chaos with friends and fans singing along fists raised at the front of the stage between moshes and merriment. It's rare to see that response to a hometown act. It doesn't hurt that they've got a beer hall-ready anthem "Don't Stay Sober" in their arsenal, but it's more than hard drinking sing-alongs and hard charging live shows that make the trio of Hale, bassist Justin Driscoll, and drummer Joshua Taddeo stand out. It's the rare personal warts and all honesty of Hale's songwriting and the knack for straight ahead rock that cuts the fat in the same way Nirvana and the Foo Fighters did/do.
The band will be filming a video for "Repulsed" this summer outside at Snug Harbor, so keep an eye on their website to find out when. Hopefully they'll be able to capture the chaos of their live show with the clip.