Andy Browne Troupe – All Styles of Rock Under This Tent

Atlanta musician Andy Browne started out in the mid-80s with the punkish college rock group The Nightporters, and with a few stops over the decades is at a creative peak with his Andy Brown Troupe. In a two year span, the Andy Brown Troupe has put out four full length albums, with a fifth being made as of this writing. The newest release here, Elephants,(available through Swing Hard Records on digital in itunes & cdbaby is from last year, but worthy of a listen any time.

From the opening moments there is energetic driving bass, coupled with drums that have a snap. Guitars range from clean strumming to tasteful distorted chugging that never overpowers the songs. Other times a Hammond organ lays down relaxed moods with sparse acoustic guitar adding the warm bronze clanging that gets the foot tapping.

The inclusion of horns and synth pads adds an unexpected fullness to the arrangements, and are key components in the bridging of so many genres. Andy’s vocals are reminiscent of Paul Westerberg with hints of David Bowie, always mixed up front and mostly devoid of effects. The female backing is soulful and many times assumes a duet role that make the pieces soar to another level. 

Lyrically there are Westerberg-influenced themes of love, melded with the wordplay of Andy Partridge. Across its 40 minutes, the genre-naming proves elusive, but a quick label of Alternative Rock or College Rock will get you in the right zip code. However, the variety of styles should get you to stay and buy tickets to the next one.

Here is the video for Little Tin Soldier (She’s My)

– Jeff Brown

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