As the minds behind Roughly Enforcing Nostalgia, brothers Jeffrey (aka Swan) and Dan Jeremy Brooks’ first recording experience was some 15 years ago in their parent’s bedroom (the only room in the house without the permeating sound of the clothes dryer), singing one of Dan's own original compositions into a Dad-made mic and Radio Shack tape recorder, backed only by a two-octave Casiotone accompaniment and Swan manning the controls. Since then, things have gotten a bit more sophisticated, but no less homegrown in spirit. With the indispensible help and support of their family, the Brothers Brooks have gone under the moniker of Roughly Enforcing Nostalgia. They've been dreaming up the kinds of songs you’d imagine the narrator of “Thunder Road” would’ve written had he spent more time sitting on his Mom’s porch reading Robert Lowell poetry with the Minutemen playing in the next room.
The youngest of three and the first latchkey, Brooks would entertain himself by compulsively compiling lists, reading the 1957 World Books, and drawing chronological images running the improbable gamut from portraits of the First Ladies to diagrams of the path food takes through human entrails.
Meanwhile, Swan was crashing and then fixing bikes, cars, and computers (in that chronological order), or designing the perfect (yet totally non-lethal) mouse trap. Air-brushing popular bands' cover art on t-shirts for classmates, Swan was gaining himself "much respect and tall cash" (err, so he said).
It’s evident that these do-it-yourself and order-seeking personality traits have remained in their songs. Tunes consisting of vaudeville-styled spirituals on hostile corporate raiders, songs that borrow from Catholic form prayers, or classic reads boiled down to 90 seconds, all make up a day in the life of Roughlyville, USA. Fascinated by American poetry styles of the last 50 years, the Brothers Brooks finds thematic sense in both the traditional and the absurd, struggling to organize the confessional with life beyond the storm door.