Have you ever wished your favorite indy rock bands were just a little more right wing? Tired of annoying socialistic lyrics attached to the post-punk chords of bands like Green Day? Wish you could find some songs praising President Bush, opposing abortion and bashing Hollywood? Well, you don't have to be an American idiot any more. Now you can listen to The Right Brothers.
The Right Brothers are two guitar-slinging brothers from Nashville plus a drummer, who've combined engaging pop-punk riffs with lyrics straight out of American Spectator. Their current single is "Bush Was Right", an upbeat song which crows the successes of the Bush administration and has an amusing repeated chord sequence which sounds rather like a guitar saying "nyah nyah nyah." It's a cleverly written and catchy song, if a bit derivative of Billy Joel's "We Didn't Start the Fire" and Bowling for Soup's "Ohio". But for the content it's the kind of song which could actually get airplay. They've even got a pretty well produced video for the song, though I don't think you can expect to see it on Fuse any time soon. The song has also been picked up to be used in a TV ad to run on Fox News by RightMarch - coals to Newcastle, perhaps.
Another recent release, which I think is actually a better and more original song is "What About the Issues?", a response to the hatemail they've been getting about their music. It's available on their website as a free download. No video for it, but it pretty much speaks for itself.
They actually have videos for a half-dozen songs, plus a total of more than 20 songs in release. They hit on virtually every topic of current politics, with titles like "Tolerate This", "Trickle Down", "The Illegals", "I Want to Live" and "This Ain't Your Daddy's Party". They've got songs about immigration (several, in fact), the Iraq War, abortion, racial profiling and tax cuts. Some of the songs have more of a country or folk feel to them, but the guitar work is universally good and the vocals are clear and easy to understand, if not always brilliantly originally written.
Not surprisingly, they've stirred up a little controversy, with attacks starting to spread on the left-wing blogosphere. The tag line on their website is "the truth disguised as music," and it's clear that to a large extent the music here is secondary to the message, which is not to say that the music isn't sometimes pretty good as well. Whether the approach of recording nothing but right-wing political songs is hearfelt or pure marketing is a valid question. The topics are too perfectly picked and the music in some ways too well tailored to a pop audience for me to feel that it's completely authentic. I'd believe them more if the songs were more personal and more original.