chris brokaw – red cities

gauntlet is an awesome start to an album that is touted as simply guitars and percussion. the guitar there is scathing. amazing. a most memorable riff. short.

this yields to gently building, repeating lone guitar in spectacular cursed post-rock fashion on the ten-minute long the fields (part ii). in reality, it’s rock, but not as we know it, for i hate genre labels. think of is as “that which cannot be packaged and sold in tiny digital units”. arrive at king ferdinand or shadows and you find the equal of the best-written rock songs anywhere. simply no machismo alpha male voice wailing or grunting out front.

even as we speak before then disquiets with electric guitar punishment from the get go; extracting tone that forces you back in your chair, wondering how long the assault will last. it’s not even loud in a conventional way.

red cities is a 10-year-hence, instrumental parallel for slint with more presence and less thinness of sound. fully formed fruit. and like other lyricless music that has been covered here, it manages complexity, layers of meaning and emotion as effectively as any sung song. and what you even find amongst the collection is one to make you chuckle infectiously, topsfield state fair. it seems unexpected, but still fits faultlessly.

there’s refinement and topography in this music that’s hard to find elsewhere; and each time you listen you hear something crisp as though you never noticed it there before. that’s not always a good thing in music, if it seems that you have to pay such serious attention as to divert from the almost mindless joy obtained from simply listening. most people have fish-like abilities to focus on anything not poking their brains in obvious ways.

if time is findable, and attention not diminished by adhd or excessive consumption of recreational drugs, it’s worth dedicating a little bit of effort to this album. you’ll hear and perhaps even see things you never knew existed.


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