Rob Duguay is a native of Shelton, CT who has been a music journalist based in Providence, RI since 2008. Along with writing for What's Up Rhode Island, Rob also writes for the Providence alternative arts & entertainment publication Motif Magazine, the New England culture publication Take Magazine, the Boston online culture magazine Vanyaland and the national music publication New Noise Magazine.

Adding to Providence’s musical variety, brass bands have come to prominence since the turn of the decade with rhythms that take hold of the soul. The Extraordinary Rendition Band and Kickin’ Brass are great examples by possessing an infectious sound that can start a party anywhere. With the Providence Honk Fest being one of the most anticipated events of the year when it invades India Point Park yearly on Indigenous People’s Day, people are getting down with the horns and drums and that appreciation won’t be fading away anytime soon. Leading the charge is the What Cheer? Brigade and their latest release You Can’t See Inside Of Me that was released on June 16 via the New Jersey indie label Don Giovanni Records. It’s a bombastic display of artistic talents that are bound to impress.

With a 20-piece band, one can wonder how they all got into a studio to record. It turns out the folks at Machines With Magnets in Pawtucket made it happen. With their multiple rooms, Seth Manchester and company captured the What Cheer? Brigade’s sound in pristine fashion. The album features 11 original tracks while the other 11 are remixes done by the likes of Malportado Kids, Moor Mother, Javelin, Virusse and many others. It’s a unique album that promises two different experiences.

“Punk Gratitude” has a triumphant vibe that gives the sense of a marching band fight song. The barrage of horns accentuates that with their tones and structure. There’s something reminiscent of a spaghetti western when the intro to “Black Cannon” starts. Then the drums make it into a hip hop jam that gets groovy until the tempo is uplifted. Beginning with a soft tone is “Here Comes The Warm Jets” and it builds up to a jubilant union that’s invigorating.

The What Cheer? Brigade will be at the Café at Parlor in Newport on August 19 with the Antonio Forte Trio. Then they’ll have an outdoor gig at Burnside Park in downtown Providence with The Quahogs as part of the Burnside Music Series on August 24. A few weeks later they’ll be joining noise punk upstarts Hairspray Queen as they both open for Philadelphia psychedelic avant garde noise act An Albatross at The Met on September 16. You can be sure that they’ll be at the event popularly known as PRONK on Indigenous People’s Day this year as well. Whether you go to all the upcoming shows or just one, grab a copy of You Can’t See Inside Of Me and enjoy.