Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Music Reviews: Brendan Kelly And The Wandering Birds - "A Man With The Passion Of Tennessee Williams"

Brendan Kelly has been a rather busy guy as of late. He co-hosts a Chicago based TV show called JBTV with Red Scare founder Toby Jeg, has played some shows with his band The Lawrence Arms, reformed for a one off gig with his old band Slapstick for Asian Man Records 10th anniversary, opened up for Naked Raygun during Thanksgiving week with his side project The Falcon and has just released a new 3 song EP called "A Man With The Passion Of Tennessee Williams" (Red Scare) backed by a band he calls The Wandering Birds.

This new single may have some old Arms and Falcon fans crying foul, because this isn't what you would expect from the man who gave us "Porno And Snuff Films" and "La-Z-Boy 500". But I welcome change, and I'll tell you why. The new single is a departure from what BK normally does. Sure it's punk rock, but with a twist. The title track kicks off with what sounds like a drum machine before Brendan's signature gravely vocals come in sounding somewhat tired. But the song picks up with catchy guitar riffs, his signature style of lyrical babbling with lyrics like "I'm hot for teacher and the rhetoric. I'm hot for the well spoken mechanic. I'm hot like the gritty desert sand, man. I'm hot like Hawaiian Tropic tan's, man" and a crazy vocal effect chorus where Brendan sings "I ain't leaving till I get my fill". It's different, but I dig it!

Up next is the more upbeat and familiar BK we all know and love with "I'd Rather Die Than Live Forever". It's down and dirty production wise. But fast and lean at the same time. A real classic for modern times. Again, it's got the killer guitar riffs and a great backbeat that'll make you wanna fuckin just tear shit up!

Now it gets a little tricky. The last song isn't really a departure musically, as much as it is lyrically. "Suffer The Children, Come Unto Me" is a musically gorgeous acoustic track with Brendan completely solo with just his guitar in hand. But when you listen to the lyrics, you'll find it's a one sided song about killing children from a killers eyes. This will surely piss some people off. But if you really take it for what it is, it's a story being told by a story teller. Kinda like Stephen King with a guitar. I see that Brendan isn't condoning this type of behavior. He's just singing a song about how fucked up some people in this world are. But, to be honest, I think it's the best track on the album. Brendan sings and plays wonderfully. Sure it's sick and twisted...but not all stories have a happy ending...and that's what a storyteller does, tells you a story. Where YOU take that story is solely up to you.

All in all I am pleasantly surprised and happy with how this solo offering came out. Tip of the old hat to Brendan with hopes that this won't be the only new material he get from this talented singer/songwriter this year.

4 ½ / 5 stars

No comments:

Post a Comment

Note: Only a member of this blog may post a comment.