Thursday, January 17, 2013

Stream: WRITER – Brotherface

I was first acquainted with WRITER when I saw them open for Guards and Cults. After their set, I immediately purchased the Miss Mermaid 7", which contained songs that would appear on this, their debut full-length Brotherface. It worked as a perfect introduction to their rumbling, distorted pop formula. The appropriately titled Brotherface was crafted by brothers James and Andy Ralph who started in southern California and have since relocated to Brooklyn. Although they have jumped from coast to coast, they haven't lost a step in their rugged, cavernous sound.

Most of these compelling tunes they craft are under or around 3 minutes. It reminds me of the recent effort from like-minded two-piece Ed Schrader's Music Beat in their ability to revel in their imperfections. Throughout the album, they use distortion and reverb as if they were two additional members in order to fill out the sound. The watery vocals of "Miss Mermaid" and the inquisitive catchiness of the line "Have you seen her / Underwater?" still serve as one of the highlights of the band's catalog.

My favorite track may be "Barefoot Art", a dirty waltz with harmonized vocals. It seems like it is about to blow up before it abruptly ends. That does, however, present the one big issue with release; at just under 30 minutes, the album is over before you know it. Thankfully, you'll have no qualms about playing it again once it ends, especially with songs that get better with each spin like "Cash for Gold" and it's buzzing keys backed by persistent tambourine and wavering "oooohs". Below are two options for listening to the record: the visual stream or the bandcamp stream.

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