Kid Abra aka Brian Chernick is a Los Angeles Based Musician who recently released his second EP entitled Melt. Chernick explains he was influenced from artists like Nick Drake, Bon Iver, and Tom Waits. In all honesty the influences aren’t hard to pinpoint but Chernick does display some originality on the tracks.
The first track “Plenty Loud / Kazoo” I could have done without. It’s Chernick playing a couple of chords while blowing into a kazoo. Not particularly interesting (borderline annoying) and probably not a good way to open up the album when the remaining songs display decent songwriting and substance. On top of that it was recorded with an iPhone in which he claims he likes the lo-fi quality but to my ears there is nothing appealing about mics that pick up mostly white noise while omitting a copious amount of natural frequencies.
The EP really starts with “Rising Wind”. Chernick presents us with a nice acoustic guitar riff and subdued drums. The groove is melancholy but attractive. When his vocals enter they are soft spoken, covered in stoic indifference and distortion. He sings “But when you look at me Just what do you see? Coasting on that ocean breeze Rising winds Will set you free” .
Out of the five songs “Melt” has the most energy and gusto. His monotone singing style stays the same but the music is dynamic. The opening riffs are strong and don’t give way to lo-fi production. Everything is pretty much smooth sailing until about a minute in. The bare bones distorted guitar and drums was lacking the energy he was trying administer. Something felt like it was missing. Nonetheless the song has it’s moments.
He closes with “Out Of Sea” which has the best guitar work on the EP. His vocals aren’t as distorted on this song and he sings in low octave. I thought the lyrics were inventive at points. He sings “I can see your imperfections Reflected on my flaws Flickering projections on darkened white walls”.
Truth be told there is still a lot of work that needs to be done if Chernick intends to make this more than a hobby. There are pockets of potential here but is largely a case of wait and see.
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