With the long list of global accolades that have followed their various musical releases to date, Australian sibling duo and pop/rock outfit Kotadama may be forgiven for feeling a little pressure with this their debut album release. After tinkering with international ballroom dancing and dabbling in the stock market in past ventures, these brothers now have global domination firmly in their sights in the form of “Dichotomy”. Following EP and single releases in 2009, Evan and Chris Brown have seen their music featured on a number of radio stations and press outlets around the world. “See You Tonight” was elevated to the lofty heights of number one requested song by the listeners of New York’s Kiss FM for a total of eight weeks and has featured in a string of band contests and seen them invited to a number of conferences and workshops for new artists from Japan to New Zealand and London to Canada. With “Dichotomy” they deliver eleven tracks of the distinctive electronic pop, soft rock hybrid which the brothers Brown have made their own as their musical style has grown up with them. They have also recruited renowned producer David Kershenbaum, he of Duran Duran and Bryan Adams fame, which can only be seen as a statement of intent in terms of where the guys want to go in the future. Along with the previously mentioned standout single “See You Tonight”, which makes a re-appearance here, “Endure” maintains the brooding and slightly haunting theme that forms the backdrop to this album throughout its entirety. Tracks such as “Earth Vs Man” and “As I Am” appear to wistfully lament lost love and insecurity whilst offering a middle finger like gesture of defiance to all concerned, with Chris describing the former as “a warning to mankind”. The atmospheric ballad, “Time and Tide” shows off the duos ability to sound like there are a lot more in the band than there actually are, mainly due to a powerful guitar spine tempered with sparkling keyboard accompaniment.
There is genuine musical ability here, song-writing obviously comes naturally to these brothers who have been producing lyrics since day one and they are able to use powerful and emotive words to create decent pop songs. “Dichotomy” at times cries out for a little diversity though as some of the tracks are in danger of becoming a little one dimensional. Whether the ballad nature of most of the songs makes for a full-length album rather than an EP is debatable and will not be everyone’s cup of tea, though what is not up for debate is the raw talent this pair have to offer. The future looks bright for Chris and Evan and following this release they plan to head to The States and continue their work with David Kershenbaum. Hopefully the boys aren’t tempted back to the ballroom or lured by potential riches of Wall Street and return with a follow-up second album, as you get the feeling that like a good Aussie Chardonnay, Kotadama’s music is improving with age.