Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Review: Brixton Riot “Palace Amusements”

“More power, less pop” is the mantra of Brixton Riot, a New Jersey quartet readying their new record, “Palace Amusements” for release. This full-length record follows the band’s 2007 debut EP, “Sudden Fiction”, which helped to grow a solid fanbase throughout the northeastern US. Engineer Frank Marchand (The Thermals, Bob Mould) was behind the mixing board for the new release.

The songs of Brixton Riot are lyrically sharp, and the band creates a sonic landscape that is very reminiscent of the post-grunge era. Bands back then were rediscovering melody but weren’t quite ready to surrender the gritty guitar tones. It’s not unusual to hear juxtapositions of 70s powerpop and classic garage rock even on the same song. Many of the tunes revolve around life as a modern musician, but anyone who is working for a living is going to relate to the themes the band puts under the microscope.

Among the highlights is the energetic and catchy lead off track “Signal To Noise”, the driving rocker “Hard To See The Sun”, the savory “Canvas Shoes”, and the sweet satire of “Hipster Turns 30”.

With its heady blend of Lemonheads meets Gin Blossoms, Brixton Riot sounds like a long lost friend from the late 90s alt rock scene. Both the vocals and the songwriting style remind me of The Caulfields a great deal. “Palace Amusements” will be available March 13 on Modern Hymnal Recordings.

Brixton Riot – Official site. Bandcamp.

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