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Brakes - Give Blood


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 dark scene.

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 to work.

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 Cheney.

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 virtues.

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 Always.

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 Roses).

It all adds up to a tremendous amount of fun that's well worth taking the time to catch up with.

 


Track listing:
1. Ring A Ding Ding
2. NY Pie
3. The Most Fun
4. Heard About Your Band
5. What's In It For Me?
6. You'll Always Have A Place To Stay
7. Cheney
8. I Can't Stand To Stand Beside You
9. Pick Up The Phone
10. You're So Pretty
11. Jackson
12. All Night Disco Party
13. Hi How Are You
14. Comma Comma Comma Full Stop
15. Sometimes Always
16. Fell In Love With A Girl

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