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Brandtson - Hello Control Review

by Jeff K.

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Everyone wants to hate on Brandtson. Ever since the departure of original bassist John Sayre, replaced by long-time friend of the band Adam Boose, the musical style of the band has done a 180 degree turn. Or so it seems, if you talk to many of the anti-fans of Brandtson's current sound. While it's true that the band switched bass players, and Adam's electronica-influence was injected into the band's sound (although the two events aren't necessarily directly tied together), much of what people should love about Brandtson is still intact. Some of the latter was inevitable, since Adam's previous outing was a techno-electronic band from the Cleveland scene called Furnace Street. In fact, Furnace Street made a previous appearance on Brandtson's "Trying To Figure Each Other Out", with the techno-remix of "As You Wish". But underneath the occasional key and programming parts in some of the songs, much of what people have come to love Brandtson for is still here.

It seems that the hang up lies in some of the first tracks on the album. By now, everyone's more than familiar with "Nobody Dances Anymore", a catchy, poppy dance tune that, while it might not sound just like the more guitar-driven rock Brandtson is known for, it is still a fun song that makes you want to move. The album starts off with "A Thousand Years", which lulls the listener in with its somber tones, just before kicking in to the 'dance' songs that precede it.

The album could conceivably be split into two sections, dance/techno and indie rock. The first half of the album is much more techno and electronically driven, as previously stated. However, from track six ("Tapping the Vain") on, this is nearly signature Brandtson. Much of the second half sounds like a slightly more mature, more adventurous outing reminiscent of their previous Miltia Group release "Send Us A Signal". Is this the indie/emo rock that early fans came to know the band for in releases like "Fallen Star Collection", "Letterbox", or even "Death & Taxes"? No. But the better question is, should it? Over the years, Brandtson has released 7 albums, not including their numerous appearances on compilations and split EP's. It is inevitable that in 10 years of being a band, said band is going to change. To some, that seems to be the death of them. Others, including myself, can only hope that this release will be the one that finally gets them the recognition as good songwriters and a solid band that they've deserved for far too long.


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Brandtson - Hello Control

Label:Militia Group
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