I think it’s safe to say a lot of solo artists have ambivalent feelings about their creative output. They love it, they hate it, then toss it out and eventually just release it. Sean Brooks had doubts about his side project but I’m here to tell him it ain't half bad. Publicity Department is the side project for Sean Brooks form the band Brunch. His release The Moths of the British Isles from my limited information is a complete DIY production. Brooks played all the instruments and also took on all the production aspects.
My first thought was that the EP was dirty, sloppy and raw - I liked it. His delivery from the vocal to instruments reminded me of iceage in that the songs felt like they could fall apart at any moment. Brooks slacker type vocal delivery works against the white noise on the opener “The Match Trick.” The song isn’t on par with a Dinosaur Jr. track or Jesus and Mary Chain but carries a similar vibe.
He doesn’t stumble on the next track “Like This” and finds one of his most infectious vocal melodies. The production is underwhelming and I wish the drums were more present in the mix but what are you going to do. Brooks takes his foot off the distortion pedal for awhile and sort of sings/talks through “The Golden Age of Detective Fiction.”
The highlight for yours truly was the melancholy and low hanging “Thick River.” His subdued vocals are money and the sparse instrumentation helps hide the underwhelming recording quality.
Brooks may be onto something with Publicity Department. If he can get an engineer to help and put a bit more spice into the songs he can straight up quit Brunches and pay off his mortgage. All right, maybe I went a bit overboard there but you get what I’m saying.
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