Brother Bait - Alive

richardbrichardb Poole, Dorset
edited August 1 in year-1976

Some Glory Daze readers may recall that a number of years ago I championed Brother Bait as a prime contender for the undisputed title of 'world's best undiscovered pomp band', on this 6 tracker, it's an unauthorised version of demos which was released by the bands producer without the bands permission.

Brother Bait - Alive
ARTIST: Brother Bait
ALBUM: Alive
LABEL: Tiger Lily
SERIAL: TL 14071
YEAR: 1976

COUNTRY OF ORIGIN: USA Flag
LINEUP: Ron Bloom - lead guitar, backing vocals * Maurice David Crutcher - keyboards, backing vocals * Christopher 'Rudy' Costley - drums, backing vocals * Rod Lester - vocals, percussion * L Golden McDonald - vocals, bass

TRACK LISTING: 01 Heaven's Beauty * 02 What Do You Believe * 03 Heart To Heart * 04 Redman * 05 His Majesty's Mood * 06 Chariot Of The Gods

Background

Some Glory Daze readers may recall that a number of years ago I championed Brother Bait as a prime contender for the undisputed title of 'world's best undiscovered pomp band'. Like legendary pomp rockers Alpha Centauri, the group's achievements should be taken in context with the constraints of the recording techniques (and budgetary restrictions) available to them.

Some 10 years later there is still scant information on the origins of the band and how they ended up 'signed' to the Tiger Lily label. Apparently keyboardist Crutcher has been quoted as saying 'we were aware when the album was released. It was supposed to be a demo, but our manager/producer-Charles Greene released it against our wishes.'.

The Brother Bait debut contained an abundance of pompous moments which were marshalled by Ron Bloom's truly electrifying guitar work - a pomp rock fans delight in fact. So when I managed to secure the purchase of 'Alive' the burgeoning question for me was 'could they maintain the momentum of the debut album?'

The Songs

As with the debut, creative driving force Ron Bloom penned all of the album's 6 tracks. It has been suggested these songs were all part of the same recording sessions used for the debut - presumably because of producer Charles Greene's involvement 'Heaven's Beauty' is suitably bombastic, opening to the strains of Maurice Crutcher's piano and Ron Bloom's guitars. Special mention must be made of drummer Christopher Costly who exhibits plenty of percussive flair assaulting his drum kit with gusto

'What Do You Believe' has a funky vibe to it, held together by Ron Bloom's choppy guitar and Christopher Costley's solid rhythm. If I was looking for some form of reference point I'd opt for Deep Purple circa 'Come Taste The Band'.

The haunting ballad 'Heart To Heart' brings the instrumental overload to a halt - albeit temporarily and then it's straight into the galloping 'Redman' which is powered along by Ron Bloom's raw guitar 'His Majesty's Mood' is every bit as majestic and overblown as the title suggests. All of the band have a field day vying for the spotlight. The winner is Ron Bloom who manages to come out on top (though only just) with some truly savage lead guitar.

Album closer 'Chariots Of The Gods' is a lengthy epic and deserving of 'pomp rock classic' status. The song ebbs and flows without ever being ponderous and allows the band plenty of opportunity to exercise their musical chops. It includes swirling synths, thunderous drumming, plenty of guitar histrionics and tempo changes galore. In other words it's everything a pomp rock fan could ever wish for.

In Summary

Apparently the band toured and it would certainly be interesting to have heard some of their material in a live context, though they eventually disbanded in 1981. These days Maurice Crutcher is the only former band member that continues to be musically active. I'm not sure what happened to the rest of the band, although I understand that Ron Bloom is now a respected technology and media executive, consultant, author and Chairman of MEVIO. We may try and contact Ron to see if he can spare us the time between his busy schedule to shed some light on the origins of this band which are still shrouded in mystery.


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