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Brownish Black / Press

“[BASEMENT SOUL] Soul doesn't come easy in the lily-white Northwest, but Portland's Brownish Black delivers an astonishingly authentic brand of vintage rough-edged R&B. Anchored by the full-throated belting of singer Vicki Porter and M.D. Sharbatz's rusty-strings guitar tone, the band doesn't try to mimic the polished majesty of ’60s Motown like a lot of today's revivalists. (What unsigned act can afford to do so in this economy, anyway?) Instead, it works a sound more indebted to the grittier, more low-rent aesthetic of Stax/Volt and blues-indebted rock outfits like the Animals. The lo-fi quality of its demos work in the group's favor, but a legit studio album—if one ever arrives—could be a sleeper hit. MATTHEW SINGER.”

Matthew Singer - Willamette Week

“The stew of influences making up Brownish Black has a curious chemistry to it. Theirs is a ragged mix of old-school R&B soul and garage rock I didn't even know I was missing until I first heard them and realized I couldn't remember the last time I'd heard a good band in the tradition of Them or the Animals. It's sweaty and loose enough to be dynamic but formal enough that the chorus always follows the verse. It's a genuinely exciting thing to hear M.D. Sharbatz wrap his yelping, yearning voice around Vicki Porter's solid harmonies and belt like the '70s never happened. DAVE BOW”

““If Brownish Black isn’t inspiring accidental conceptions by this time next year, then Portland doesn’t know a thing about fucking. With undulating organs lapping against filthy garage-funk guitars and M.D. Sharbatz crooning like some backwoods beast slapped together with excess DNA from Will Oldham and Ian Svenonius, Brownish Black makes music to dance to until your legs give out and you have to take a cab home (with whomever you’re going to slowly and sweatily screw until the rest of you goes). Just don’t name the baby Brownish.” --- Christ Stamm, Willamette Week's MFNW 2010 guide”

Christ Stamm - Willamette Week's MFNW 2010 guide