I have to admit I was a bit baffled when I heard that latest release from The Brevet entitled American Novel. It was mixed and mastered by the band in a clubhouse inside a mobile home park. Does this clubhouse contain a Neve or SSL console with an ample amount of outboard gear? If so I want to see it. The point is the album sounds a degree or two shy of being mixed by Tom Lord Alge and mastered at Sterling Sounds.
I’m guessing the band comprised of Aric Chase Damm (vocals/guitar), Michael Jones (backing vocals/ piano) and David Aguiar (backing vocals/drums) contains at least one seasoned engineer. If not thenthey just blew my mind once again.
The band’s debut album Battle of the Heart was a well-received debut and American Novel further establishes their talent. I was drawn to the energy of this record. It’s uplifting, encouraging and hopeful. The songs are powerful and won’t settle just being in the background. One of the most effective is the opener “American Novel.”
It begins with two guitar notes that stay steady as a swell of orchestration build anticipation in the background. The anticipation is warranted as the band explodes with guitars, drums, and vocal harmonies that are reminiscent of Arcade Fire. The lyrics are almost as affirming as the music. Damm sings about the loss of innocence but carrying on.
“Hazy Eyes” is on par with the first song in term of quality and energy. The snare drum alone provides enough energy to get you out of your chair but the music behind it creates a wonderful culmination of sounds. The first two tracks were exceptional but I think the third track “Moving Mountains” was my personal favorite. I’m sure that would be a debated topic amongst the listeners as the songs are close in terms of quality.
The band can also slow things down a bit and still sound good as displayed on “The River.” It’s an emotionally resonant song but to tell you the truth every song on the album is. It’s really consistently good throughout.
I don’t have any complaints expect that these guys need some more love. Take a listen.
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