Review: Jack Foley
INDIE super-group, Brakes, burst onto the scene in spectacular
fashion with their tight little debut album, Give Blood.
Delivering 16 songs in a trim 29 minutes, the album is one of
the surprise packages of the year - a quirky, fast-paced collection
of catchy anthems that effortlessly encapsulates the best of the
new indie revival.
For anyone who doesn't know, Brakes are comprised of Eamon from
British Sea Power, Mark from Tenderfoot and Tom and Alex from
Electric Soft Parade and they specialise in delivering catchy
blasts of dizzy rock-pop that could easily filter over into the
There are cover versions, guest stars (most notably Liela Moss,
from The Duke Spirit) and all manner of styles that ensures there
is something for everyone to enjoy.
Kicking off with the chirpy Ring a Ding Ding, with its
tongue-in-cheek lyrics and vibrant guitar riffs, the album then
proceeds to deliver a rollercoaster ride of emotions - some of
which hit more successfully than others.
The White Stripes sounding NY Pie follows along in hick
style, having been inspired by Eamon's first trip to New York,
when he ended up falling asleep in the street and being woken
up by six policemen who were shouting 'time to move on, sir, time
to move on', while businessmen and women passed by on their way
The more rocky Heard About Your Band delves into post-punk
territory, delivering the sort of fast-moving anthem The Strokes
would be proud of.
While I Can't Stand To Stand Beside You is an edgy rant
about the way someone looks that makes Kaiser Chiefs' Every
Day I Love You Less And Less look polite.
The quirky moments come courtesy of the off-kilter blasts, such
as the 30-second Pick Up The Phone, and the even faster
But they actually represent the sound of the album at its weakest
and give rise to the suspicion that this is a super-group that
could easily find itself lost amid artistic pretension.
Fortunately, such moments are in short supply and tend to end
as quickly as they began - another of Give Blood's many
Further highlights come courtesy of their inspired cover of Jackson,
which features Liela Moss' delightful vocals, as well as their
take on The Jesus and Mary Chain's deliriously psychedelic Sometimes
Even better, is the melody laden You're So Pretty,
a classic indie anthem full of lush guitar hooks that recalls
the heyday of the era (circa Jesus & Mary Chain and Stone
It all adds up to a tremendous amount of fun that's well worth
taking the time to catch up with.