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The Brakes were formed, in part, by members of British Sea Power and The Electric Soft Parade. Today, the band goes by the repetitive, un-capitalized name brakesbrakesbrakes in the U.S. due to a name conflict with a little-known American band. The newly named brakesbrakesbrakes were formed in Brighton circa 2002, and a couple years later they landed a single deal with the Rough Trade subsidiary Tugboat Records. In 2005 they released their debut full-length titled Give Blood and two days ago they gave us The Beatific Visions.
The new album was built with a bigger budget, which can sometimes be the kiss of death, or a launching pad to the next level. In this case, it doesn’t seem that either is the case. It is however, more good music devoid of pretense.
The tracks are a mish-mash of straight-up rock songs, ballads, whimsical ditties, political thrashers, and even a 50’s influenced song titled “Spring Chicken” that could create the biggest dance craze since the Macarena. Okay, maybe not.
It would seem that such diversity would make for an uneven listen, but it’s not really the case, even though bass player Marc Beatty admits to the irregular nature of the album when he says, “I like to think of this album as the soundtrack to a great battle between good and evil where the world almost cracks in half, sucking everyone into a life of eternal darkness and misery. There’s so much fucked-up shit going on in this world that it’s hard not to pass comment on it in our music. But as much as it’s important to us to write about that kind of stuff, there’s a lot of love and romance in there too.”
I’m gonna go out on a limb here and say that The Beatific Visions is not the “soundtrack to a great battle between good and evil where the world almost cracks in half, sucking everyone into a life of eternal darkness and misery”, but don’t let that discourage you.
The songs tie together well in an album format, and it’s extensively peppered with some great hooks and witty lyrics. But it’s the drunken British accent folded so masterfully into the vocals of Eamon Hamilton that helps brakesbrakesbrakes stand apart in the crowded market of indie pop.
Onward British soldiers.
1. Hold Me In The River
3. If I Should Die Tonight
4. Mobile Communication
5. Spring Chicken
7. Beatific Visions
8. Porcupine Or Pineapple
9. Cease And Desist
10. On Your Side
11. No Return