For Ben Morrison, the guitarist and one of the vocalists for The Brothers Comatose, recording their second album, 2012’s Respect the Van, was a very different experience than recording their debut album, 2010’s Songs from the Stoop.
“The first album was a little more thrown together,” Morrison says. “We recorded it in one room, standing together around a microphone and we did everything live. With this one we took more time to work on the sound. We still did a lot of the tracking live, but then we’d go back and do harmony vocals and maybe a fiddle solo after the fact so we could take the time to get what we wanted out of it.”
Respect was largely informed by the band’s heavy period of touring in support of Songs. Blitzkrieg bluegrass tracks like “Pie for Breakfast” recount the struggles of being away from a loved one, and the Americana-tinged “120 East” highlights the camaraderie that forms on the road. They even have a track called “The Van Song.” But, as Morrison explains, the album is not a series of journal entries.
“It is pretty topical to our situation, but not all the songs are about being on the road,” he says. “There are common themes people can relate to in the music, so it’s not like every song is ‘I’m on the road.’ It’s more like ‘This relationship is hard, so what are we going to do?’ A lot of people can relate to things like that.” Another blue-grassy band, The Devil Makes Three, can relate; the Devil recently asked The Brothers Comatose to go on tour, and they’ll be back at the McDonald Jan. 28.
The Brothers Comatose play 9 pm Thursday, Dec. 5, at Sam Bond’s; $7.