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thebrotheregg/1090 Club - thebrotheregg/1090 Club

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Artist: thebrotheregg/1090 Club

Album: thebrotheregg/1090 Club

Label: Rubric

Review date: Dec. 9, 2003

This split CD should be called an EP, I suppose, being only 19 minutes long. It features three songs by each band – thebrotheregg, followed by the 1090 Club. The EP is presented in a nice foldover sleeve of recycled, natural cardboard, printed in gold. It's a handsome item, with the drawback that the gold is extremely difficult to read and the printing is quite small. I had a tough time checking the song titles for this review.

thebrotheregg, headed by Adam Goldman, have been around, with a fairly low profile, since 1992. The five-piece conjures up spacious, quirky, vaguely psychedelic pop. "Deep Back Woods" begins with layered sounds of nature, then moves into gleaming, delicately plucked strings and smooth, pretty vocal harmonies. If, say, Olivia Tremor Control had come more from rural folk-psych than Beatles-style pop, they might have done something like this.

"Theta Clear" is a bit less lush and more straightforward, focused purely on Goldman's vocals, which here feel like he's straining a bit. Nonetheless, he always hits the mark. Something about the song gives it a vaguely countrified feel, but it's still pop, especially once the strings start to sing. The group’s three songs conclude with a cover of Bevis Frond's "Driven Away”, complete with organ. I have to admit to not being familiar with the original, despite having seen the Frond live a number of times. Working without the reference, though, I can still say that this is a catchy, energetic song, decidedly more upbeat than the others.

The 1090 Club is a new five-piece hailing from Montana, with this just their second recording following a self-released EP. "The Joy of Working for Others" starts their half very quietly and dreamily, until a tremolo guitar-led chorus breaks in. The second time through, the guitars kick on the distortion and the proceedings get more energetic, with a really successful, thick sound.

"Superrocker" isn't necessarily true to its title, but it does rock pretty well. The fuzzed guitars, nice keyboards, and catchy chorus make this one the winner of the bunch, even if it might lean a bit too predictably toward the indie rock direction for my taste. Bonus points for keeping the song short and too the point, a tendency all too often lacking in rock/pop songwriting these days.

The final song, "Little Know Fact”, [sic] is a slower, dreamier pop tune with glittering guitars and a floating atmosphere that's nicely evocative. The move towards bombastic density partway through is nicely done; it reminds me a bit of bands like Aerogramme and, perhaps just a little, Godspeed. The fade-out left me wishing that they'd sustained the intensity a bit longer.

As a taster for these two bands, this is certainly a good item to pick up. I couldn't help but wonder why more songs weren't included, although admittedly it's kind of nice to have a brief little introduction that doesn't wear out its welcome.

By Mason Jones

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