Suede Brothers blend influences on new CD

If you go

Who: The Suede Brothers and Album

When: 10 p.m. Friday

Where: Cedars Lounge,

23 N. Hazel St., Youngstown

Info: Call 330-743-6560

Place:Cedars West End

702 Steel St., Youngstown

By John Benson

Hard-rock trio The Suede Brothers is celebrating the recent release of its third album, a self-titled affair. In fact, the threesome — Kevin Naughton (bass), Dylan Francis (vocals, guitar) and Mike Varga (drums) — recorded the entire album during a two-day period. The problem is that was in January 2010.

“Over the summer, we shopped it around to different labels but, ultimately, we didn’t find anything that was better than our current situation of releasing things ourselves on our own label,” said Suede Brothers singer-guitarist Dylan Francis, 23, who calls Perry, Ohio, home. “Everyone we talked to, they would have just done what we’re doing right now, except we’d have to give rights to our music to a label that wasn’t our own. It just really didn’t seem to make any sense to do that.”

You get the sense the Suede Brothers aren’t in this for a money grab or a quick rise and fall onto the iTunes Internet charts. No, this act is focused on playing its own game, win or lose.

Formed in 2006, the group has toured the Midwest enough to the point where it now can play before decent-sized crowds in Illinois, West Virginia and Kentucky.

Its hook is what it calls Rust Belt Rock, which has brought the band into Youngstown for plenty of shows over the years. This includes two straight “Pabstolutely” gigs. The Suede Brothers are scheduled to perform Friday at Cedars Lounge.

Francis said he’s excited about playing the band’s new music, which has evolved on the latest album.

“It’s still heavy, blues-based hard rock, but I think it’s a better blend of our influences than previous efforts,” Francis said. “The songwriting is the biggest improvement that I think we really noticed. We started out really heavy, letting our Black Sabbath and Zeppelin influences come through. And they still obviously are there, but we’ve kind of got better at blending in more modern groups we were listening to like desert-rock bands such as Fu Manchu and Queens of the Stone Age.”

The frontman stressed the Suede Brothers’ “Zoso” love remains. In fact, he points out the band is having fun mashing up Led Zeppelin’s “We’re Gonna Groove” into its older tune “Jolly Rodger.”

Perhaps the only question left, one that the Suede Brothers members are finding their answer to, is whether or not a Led Zeppelin-influenced, desert-rock sounding band can make it in 2011?

“I don’t know, but I don’t think we care too much,” Francis said. “We’re not out to do things, to jump through hoops to get a lot more attention. We’re doing what pleases us, and if we can find an audience that it also satisfies, than we’re happy with that, too.”

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