Brook in the Birchwood is comprised of members from Baltimore, Maryland out to San Francisco, California and just formed in 2016. They consist of Adam Schuman (drums), B. Wear (vocals, drums), Brent Tomchik (vocals, guitar, keys), Cristina Dotts Wear(vocals) and Tony Vitez (guitar). Considering how recently this project formed and the various locations it’s not surprising how disparate some of the ideas on their EP The Figurehead are.
The band doesn’t do much to solidify a sound you can expect from them in the future but does pull off some of the concepts they attempt. The EP showcases some talent that still has to be harnessed into a more cohesive vision.
First up is “Dreamworld In Her Movements” which is a fairly upbeat art rock song that embraces airy synth just as much as guitars. The song has some inspired moments such as the exhilarating build up after the one-minute mark and unexpected deflation. It is dynamic and that whole section is impressive. The band does some sufficient rocking out towards the end.
Up next is “The Figurehead” which in an atmospheric, ambient song revolving around delayed guitars, loops and vocals. The vocals and music are haunting and pretty. That being said the song doesn't go anywhere dynamically and I thought it would have benefited from being fleshed out.
Next up is “The Girl Doesn't Weave” which embraces basic 101 shoegaze aesthetics. The guitars sound similar to My Bloody Valentine and Ride. Classic shoegaze style and approach. It’s a good song nonetheless and I thought it contained the catchiest vocal melodies.
“Away Laughing” is the closer which is another deviation. Veering far away from shoegaze they introduce an energy that feels like it's going somewhere. The funky guitars work well with the spacey synths.
It may take some time from Brook in the Birchwood to realize what type of band they are. This isn’t a bad thing in any way but it's pretty clear to me they don’t have a palette of sounds that define their sound as of yet. All things considered the songwriting and delivery is solid. I’d say they are a work in progress that you want to keep your eyes on.
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