Your Idiot Brother
“Shut up Max!” is a phrase Maxwell Helper of Your Idiot Brother has likely heard plenty of times. It’s safe to say that it comes with the territory of being a contentious middle child. Yet if you listen, there’s truth to be heeded within the battlecries. Art inspires life, right? Or is it the other way around? For Max it’s probably both.
On his debut self-titled LP, Your Idiot Brother takes us on a psychological journey through a variety of far-reaching and unpredictable themes. From an exploration into the hypocrisies of modern society to a song that doesn’t quite know if it’s sexualizing food or objectifying a lover (see “Tater Lady”), Your Idiot Brother keeps us guessing and it’s all fair game.
Marching from the pleasantly unsettling rock sounds and whiskey soaked vocals in “Hoochie Coochie,” to the acoustic longing lull of “Oh Me, Oh My,” he transcends genres and never sticks to a specific script – which comes as a welcomed respite in a day and age of cookie-cutter bands and gimmicks.
In “On My Mind” he shouts, “we’re all so happy, trying to be happy” referencing contemporary social expectations that make the validation of our “happy” façade on social media pleasurable to us. His cover of The Ramones “I Wanna Be Sedated” does the classic punk rock anthem a different, but righteous type of justice; picture Joey Ramone with opiate eyes, still unsure if he’s reached his goal, but whimpering along after a 6 day bender while the rest of the band tries to resist trading their bpm’s for zzz’s with eyes half open.
It’s this level of imagery, regardless of variety, that seems to tie the album together so aptly. If this is his first album, we’ll definitely be looking forward to hearing the second. And whether or not you’re an only child or a middle child, Your Idiot Brother seems to have your back.