Saturday, 9 May 2009

Brakes: Touchdown (FatCat Records)

Brakes have always been a marmite band. Even for those who make it past lead singer Eamon Hamilton’s opinion-dividing, ultra-precise diction the roots of love for the band’s other incarnations British Sea Power, although Eamon’s departure didn’t impact too heavily, and the subsequent lack of attention given to the Electric Soft Parade has alienated some fans.
But for those who do follow the Brighton-berthed Brakes it is a rewarding experience. Frantic live shows, irrepressible character and three albums in four years (relatively prolific for a mainstream band) have seen them garner considerable favour.
This is an interesting effort given the herd of singles that previous albums have offered, notably the success of All Night Disco Party and several other from debut Give Blood. Touchdown offers no less in terms of tune but, where before it was hammering the peddle with a hot trainer, it’s more of a leisurely summer ride in a regal carriage. Tracks such as Crush on You and Do You Feel the Same? steer the listener into a dreamier space than ever before offering something different from Brakes’ trademark swagger.
Ultimately there’s still enough venom to please long-term plans but maybe signs of Hamilton’s soft underbelly may just offer signs for the future from this vastly talented, oft-overlooked band.

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