Let’s get this out of the way now because there’s no hiding from it. Yes, The Williams Brothers do sound incredibly like The Everly Brothers and with good reason. They aren’t just brothers, they’re twins, and Andrew and David Williams been singing and playing together for decades. And here’s a little bit of additional information; they’re also nephews of easy-listening megastar Andy Williams. With that musical heritage and the twin thing going on it shouldn’t be a surprise that the Williams Brothers’ two-part harmonies are absolutely stunning.

Before you even get into the detail of the individual songs, ‘Memories to Burn’ is an interesting concept; it was arranged in a small studio and recorded live to two-track. Everyone was happy with the results and then the tapes were stashed away for twenty-seven years before resurfacing this year. It’s an interesting package of ten songs, split equally between well-chosen covers and songs written by band members; the country stylings of the covers create a nice unity for the album, blending with the originals perfectly. It’s also noticeable that most of the songs clock in at about two minutes with two at around the 2:30 mark and the album’s closer, the Buffy Sainte-Marie song, ‘Piney Wood Hills’ scrapes in under 1:30. There’s absolutely no fat to trim away on any of these songs; if you can deliver your song in around two minutes, why would you add anything that makes the message less concise. It’s an album of short stories rather than novellas.

There are two constants across the entire album; the stunning two-part harmonies of the twins and the steel guitar licks that create the melancholy, retro mood of the album. There are moments on the album that are pure Everly Brothers; the title track could be Phil and Don vocally, although some of Marvin Etzioni’s chord changes are unusual and the falling upright bass run owes something to Nancy Sinatra’s ‘These Boots Were Made for Walking’. It all fits together perfectly. Another Marvin Etzioni composition, ‘Unanswered Prayers’, hints at Phil and Don’s ‘Let It Be Me’ with the Williams Brothers’ two-part harmonies featured throughout the song.

There’s an interesting transposition of styles across the album’s second and third songs. ‘Cryin’ and Lyin’’, another Etzioni composition has a Sixties pop song sound, while the following song, a genuine Sixties pop song is given a country makeover. Dave Davies’ Kinks hit ‘Death of a Clown’ might be an unlikely choice but the country treatment seems to highlight the strangeness of the lyrics; and they are pretty strange.

If you’re a fan of The Everly Brothers, then ‘Memories to Burn’ should make you smile. It’s out now on Regional Records (RR222).