The Halcyon Brothers – A Dusty Bible Leads to a Dirty Life

The Halcyon Brothers
A Dusty Bible Leads to a Dirty Life

Let me tell you about a bird named Kingfisher. This bird is jay-sized with a distinguishable crew-cut. Its plumage for a male is a bluish-gray with a white collar and blue band across the white breast; the female proves brighter than the male and has a chestnut brown band below the blue band. They have cleft beaks with short yellow legs and can be found all over the lakes, ponds, rivers, and streams of North America. As their name suggests, these birds are the kings of catching fish. So why am I giving discourse on this bird? Well, apparently, the poetic name of Kingfisher is Halcyon. Slap a “the” in the front and “brothers” on the back and you will get the pop-country-rock-and-roll of The Halcyon Brother’s debut album, A Dusty Bible Leads to a Dirty Life.
Essentially a duo by the names of Sean McNamee and Kelly Anderson, The Halcyon Brothers bequeaths an unrelenting hodgepodge of music that touches on snot-rock (“Slap”), punk (“Selling Crank”), classic rock (“I Can’t be Counted on”), slap-happy country (“Sleeping on the Futon”), and everything in between. The album is incredibly engaging. The capricious attitude and fickle variations aid its overall hedonistic decorum, tugging you in like the evil McAdvertisements.
However, where the Kingfisher’s plumage is, more or less, beautiful, the Halcyon Brothers has more difficulty in presenting itself. Although the album is extremely fun to listen to, it is ultimately lacking focus and cohesiveness. Comparing the cheesy “And Then the Shove” to the album centerpiece “On the Radio” can be disorienting for listeners, even though the latter song is the most substantial track on the album. In other words, there are some really great songs indicating loads of potential that is just itching to burst out; then there are some really awful songs that undermine the creativity of the more unique tracks.
But when you get right down to it, The Halcyon Brothers has created a debut album brimming with a charming personality that so many bands lack on its first couple albums. They truly capture the essences of rock, country, and classic rock with little fault. Plus, the fact that they named their band after the ugly Kingfisher with a phallic-like beak is pretty fucking funny.