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DLC Week of 8/10: The Brevet and HUNNY

On the surface, The Brevet “Locked & Loaded” and HUNNY “Homesick” wouldn’t seem to have much in common, but both are well-crafted, confident rockers with riffs and refrains for days! Don’t sleep on this DLC debuting Thursday in the Rock Band Music Store.

So-Cal indie darlings The Brevet serve up a hard-hitting, grimy banger with “Locked & Loaded” from the 2018 LP Legs. From the get-go, the track is full-tilt gritty guitars, pack-a-day vocals, a wash of atmospheric organ, and limitless swagger courtesy of the potent five-piece – frontman Aric Chase Damm, guitarist John Kingsley, keyboardist Greg Burroughs, and a rhythm section anchored by David Aguiar on drums and bassist Julian Johnson. 

Fuzzy guitars and authoritative drums and bass set the stage early on in “Locked & Loaded” before Damm lends his vox to the proceeding at about 12 seconds in, with a repeating “whoah” melodic figure as the beat intensifies. About 15 seconds later, the song really opens up with an instantly memorable, thrillingly direct guitar lick. The Brevet dials the vibe back just a bit during the first verse, allowing the lyrics – sung with a take-no-prisoners snarl – to take the spotlight over a sparse kick-rimshot beat. Then, at 1:06, the fellas dive into the first go-round of “Locked & Loaded”’s arena-worthy chorus (fortified by a return of that aforementioned, tasty guitar lick). The verse-refrain structure repeats itself again before, at the 2:20 mark, we’re introduced to the bridge which dovetails into a tasteful, satisfying solo from Kingsley that puts his considerable six-string talents on full display. This continues until the song’s finale which concludes with the by-now-familiar, defining guitar line brought up an octave. “Locked & Loaded” is hard-hitting, adrenaline-packed Americana that dips its toes into country-ish territory here and there, but never loses sight of its hard-rocking mission statement.

Upon the cut’s release, Damm said, “‘Locked & Loaded’ is a special song for us as a band. When writing for this new record there’s been a shift in how the songs are coming together. We’re writing in a way we want to write now… not trying to follow trends. This song makes that theme particularly clear in the lyrics. “Don’t you lose yourself” for us as a band is meant to mean, don’t lose sight of why you are doing this and staying true to our songwriting. We can’t wait to start sharing all of these new songs!”

While “Locked & Loaded” isn’t, strictly speaking, “new” in a 2023 context, the single’s raw power remains very much undiminished. If The Brevet has been on your radar for a while, now’s the perfect time to revisit a modern-day rock and roll triumph. If it’s all new to you, you’ll be thanking yourself for giving a listen!

“Homesick,” the title cut from L.A.-based HUNNY’s 2022 EP,  quickly became a fan-favorite upon release and the track – a clever mish-mash of some of the more appealing elements of alt-rock, indie, and more – possesses a timeless charm that transcends the calendar date. Kicking off with a quirky, gently twinkling keyboard part amidst spoken chatter in the background, at the six-second mark, the full band (guitarist Jake Goldstein, drummer Joey Anderson, lead singer/guitarist Jason Yarger, and on bass/keyboards Kevin Grimmet) rounds out the soundscape. Taut, snappy drums and a gorgeously warm, round bass line (Seriously – check out that bass tone. Perfection!) lay the groundwork for Yarger’s subdued, intimate vocal delivery during the verse and are soon joined by more of that sweet-yet-sad keyboard. At :39, Anderson busts into a two-handed 16th note hi-hat pattern, lending an urgency to the song the segues nicely into the hooky and (frankly, surprisingly) uplifting chorus. HUNNY manages to pull off that trickiest of feats: a “feel-good” song about… feeling kinda bad. This is the kind of emotional alchemy indie bands of the ‘90s strove for en masse, but rarely achieved. It’s honestly pretty impressive, when taken as a whole. Oh, and catchy – *really* catchy. 

After a couple go-rounds with the established verse/pre-chorus/chorus structure, at 2:14 HUNNY returns to the keyboards-and-bass arrangement of the track’s opening verse before a quasi-acoustic, non-distorted take on the refrain and then a return to full-group potency for the satisfying outro.

Lyrically, “Homesick” pulls no punches, laying bare elemental notions of futility and personal disconnect. The track, under the steady influence of a longstanding “underground rock” shibboleth, steadfastly adheres to the notion that the musical expression of sadness, longing – really any and all emotions, but especially those that are most deeply personal, vulnerable, even embarrassing – is as, if not more, valid an exercise than seeking to *solve* such struggles or landing at a satisfying resolution. There’s no subtle wordplay or metaphor in the refrain; interestingly, such profundity was borne out of the polysemantic nature of the word, “homesick.” Specifically, Goldstein wrote the sketch of the song during quarantine while he was, in fact, home and feeling sick. 

Hmmm… So much for “no wordplay” I suppose.

Yarger recalls, "It started as this cheeky little tune but when we started fleshing it out as a real track it started to morph into a bit more. It turned partly into some sort of love letter to touring and how much we'd missed it after nearly two years of not being on the road." Such insecurities were in no small part informed by pandemic-related lockdowns, the time during which HUNNY composed most of the Homesick EP. "I personally felt like I was going backwards – not touring and working a day job,” continues the singer. “I wanted my life back. I was homesick."

With “Homesick,” the artists’ angst and weariness becomes the listeners’ reward. HUNNY has crafted a masterful expression of some fairly nihilistic mental wanderings that nonetheless finds the bright and sunny melodic underpinnings of such self-examination. You may well find yourself lost in “deep thoughts” while listening to this complex single, sure, but rest assured you’ll have the relentlessly appealing, oddly upbeat chorus stuck in your head for days! Not a bad thing, by the way!

The Brevet “Locked & Loaded” and HUNNY “Homesick” are both featured in the Season 32 Pass. Grab each today and enjoy the full season of DLC! They can be yours for $1.99 each.

·   The Brevet – “Locked & Loaded”

·   HUNNY – “Homesick”

VIDEO: Rock Band 4 DLC Week of 8/10: The Brevet “Locked & Loaded” and HUNNY “Homesick”



*Please note that this week’s DLC tracks will be available for purchase on Thursday, August 10th.