Brunhilde - Choir Boy

Brunhilde Choir Boy EP cover
Choir Boy
Count & Countess
I really was dumbfounded by this new band; in reality a duo of either brother and sister or husband and wife joined by bass player extraordinaire Oliver Holzwarth (Sieges Even, session for Blind Guardian and Rhapsody) – substituted by one as well as Van Canto’s sole instrumentalist, drummer Bastian Emig. I didn’t know what to make of them. A name, taken from the Niebelungen saga would have you think of things epic, but this mini album seems like a band that’s dipping its toes in the water to see what direction might suit it. I mean there’s enough talent to warrant a guy like Charlie Bauerfeind (producer for Helloween and Blind Guardian among others) to give em a shot, but the style shifts from song rather drastically and it’s not a full length, so coming to a conclusion is twice as hard.
“Choir Boy” is an edgy punk pop ditto, with metallic trimmings over it. Singer/frontwoman Caro Lou (Bauereiss) has the gutsy delivery and the machine gun rate delivery figured out just fine and enough melody to keep this above the ground while her partner in crime, one Kurt, by the same surname, provides grungy guitar coverage throughout. Only problem I see, is trying to project an ubercool image – and this “no choir boy” mentality – even as entertainment – but then trying to be as PC as possible at the same time. It doesn’t compute. I mean if you want to address social issues go ahead and do it, if you want to sing about beer and parties and being a tough s.o.b. do that… if you try to combine more than one of those things, be prepared to make a musical statement that might as well be genre redefining… (ie much like Queensryche did on “Operation)”. While I pretty much stand for pretty much most if all the things the band does mention on their notes, I’m a little tired of the whole preaching aspect. Assholes won’t be deterred by liner notes… as drug addiction wasn’t stopped by the “stop the madness” stickers on albums of many casual drug users, ironically, but so be it.
“When You Were Born (I was already Dead)” has an acoustic intro that makes you think it will be a ballad, but then it turns pretty punk metal, quickly, with the melodic parts contrasting the punky ones rather nicely. It works better than “Choir Boy” that may have a more immediate chorus and a more urgency, but seems to not manage to go beyond the initial charm. This one manages to build beyond the intro and still hook you in.
“It’s All Lies” is all ballad and not a bad one at that. It’s nice, dry, smokey and piano laden – without any big crescendo, but overall it manages to create a nice atmosphere and envelop the listener – despite its short length
Last but not least, a remade version of “Golddigger”, from one of the previous outings of the band, seems to be the style that best suits the band, a more rock and roll riff driven crossover of alternative and metal that takes the immediacy and punk ethos of the former and the driving riffs of the latter and manages to marry them together, quite nicely.
While the band’s heart is in the right place, I guess… (unless they’re among the 2% that have it on the right side), but they still have to master their style before they could really compete or even party with “big boys” (and gals – I don’t want to be sexist) and transient people – let’s be all inclusive… see what you made me do.