On The Gentleman Brawlers’ single, “I Ain’t No Brian Wilson (I Was Made For These Times),” singer Becca Fox croons over a groovy, psychedelic guitar riff while the bass and drums pound out an afro-funk rhythm. The whole song simmers smoothly, sounding upbeat and fun but relaxing as well.
Having fun and combining influences is partially what The Gentleman Brawlers are about. The five-piece band made of Fox, guitarists Jim Thomson and Matt “CK” Walsh, bassist Alexis Arkus-Duntov and drummer David Ashkenazy came together in 2011.
“This combination creates a sound that seems pretty original, and people seem to be connecting with it and to us, that’s what music culture is,” Walsh said.
The Ridgewood-based band records a lot of their music in their apartment, something they say Queens’ spread-out nature allows for. Their debut EP, “We Were Made For These Times,” came out on Dec. 18, 2012.
The Gentleman Brawlers prides themselves on their energetic live performances. They are currently weighing offers to play in Japan, Scotland and other international destinations, even though multiple band members have other jobs. Part of what makes their stage presence captivating is Fox, who uses her skill as a professional dancer to connect with the crowd.
“The band just gets better and tighter each night, and you can move beyond worrying about simply playing the right notes, and take it to a more creative level where you’re adding those extra touches that really make music come alive for the audience,” Walsh said.
While 2013 holds many upcoming touring plans, the band also feels it is in the midst of another sweeping shift in music and couldn’t be more eager about the possibilities that await them.
“Music is always changing, because our lives are always changing, and music changes right with it,” Walsh said. “We in the Gentleman Brawlers are excited to be swept up in this wave of change.”