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Bracket | When All Else Fails | review | punk | Lollipop


When All Else Fails (Fat)
by Scott Hefflon

After three years, Bracket finally graces us with another damn record. Dunno, maybe it's just me, but if yer in a freakin' band, what else do you really do besides sit around and write songs? Well, whatever the hold up was, I'm glad it's over. I like these guys and always have. Little Marty's got such a distinct voice, you really have to be a moron to not recognize a Bracket song when you hear one. They're a band you can hear once and peg after a few words forever after. I've heard the backlash of that oft-enviable characteristic, some thinking Bracket songs all sound the same, but I believe people are entitled to their own opinion, even if their opinion is stupid and wrong. The similarity in Bracket's songs is that they are often so unexpected, you have to listen to them a few times before you get where the changes come from, and how they all make sense. Hell, I've listened to a chord, tempo, or key change two or three times and said, "Wait, from this to that? Huh? Well, OK..." And I'm a freakin' music reviewer who listens to thousands of records a year. So if pop (cuz yeah, they usually wind up on the pop side of the fence, but not too far from punkpop/power pop) can slip one by ya, that's some damn good pop, right? Jeez, do you wanna be able to anticipate every change for every song before it happens? Ain't askin' for much, are ya? Without being all arty and tricky just to show how complex they are'n'shit, Bracket consistently throws a welcome curveball or twenty in there, like a pat on the ass in a crowded room.

Some songs smile and skip down an oak-lined sidewalk, the smell of fresh-cut grass in your nostrils, the hope of catching a glimpse of Suzie changing in front of her bedroom window on your mind; others make you thump the side of your "soda" cooler, the happy-go-lucky vibes oozing and blending with the smell of volleyball sweat and raging hormones; and some make you just wanna sit and hang out your bedroom window watching the clouds float lazily by. Especially the ones that look like boobies. OK, so Bracket is kinda the sound of fun and frolicking, despite there always being a little thought-provoking melancholy in there... But I seem to recall the songs being even more dark and kinda sorrowful before, so I'll take this as a good sign. Also, hats off to Ryan Greene for making this record sound very little like, um, everything else he's ever done.


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