Te Kooti Brotherhood - Beyond Ourselves (Cover Artwork)
Staff Review

Te Kooti Brotherhood

Beyond Ourselves (2012)


New Zealand hardcore act Te Kooti Brotherhood show two faces on their full-length, Beyond Ourselves. One is promising, the other merely okay.

On one hand, songs like "Lights" and "A Western Fallacy" are ignited alive with a gripping, building feel, cleanly shouted vocals and an undercurrent of tenderness. With their melodic, occasionally kinda spastic take on what's more and more broadly being referred to as "hardcore," it's moments like these where the band could appear on a bill with acts like La Dispute and Defeater and gain a few fans in the process (while not necessarily sounding too much like any current Wave act, except maybe the verses of "Cowboys and Indians" sounding decidedly Touché Amoré-esque). But then there's also the more generic, somewhat straightforward modern hardcore style of cuts like "Moving Beyond Ourselves (Gorilla Biscuits)" (a strange, misleading title, given that it clearly isn't a GB cover), "Whanau" (an anti-discrimination anthem that could stand to be a little more poetic, which Beyond Ourselves otherwise generally is), "Becoming Weak" and "Approximations."

Not to say the band is bad at playing a relatively heavier, more intense style, but it feels considerably safer. There are also moments that split the difference between the two, like "A New Kind of Freedom"–From Anger and Rage-era Verse comes vaguely to mind, but maybe with less compelling dynamics.

Te Kooti Brotherhood could either be lost in the shuffling handful of current bands that are a little more consistent and thoughtful with this sound, or make the most of their potential and truly become one of them. At the very least, Beyond Ourselves isn't a terrible starting point.

Cowboys and Indians