It’s a curious thing this listening to music malarkey, particularly when it comes to keeping up with the amount that’s so readily available these days. Who knew, for instance, that Le Reno Amps had split up five years ago? Not me anyway although I recall quite liking (& positively reviewing) at least one of their two albums. That said I can’t remember the last time I deliberately played either of them (or, for that matter, if any random songs have been thrown up by my iPod). They had their 15 minutes so what then of former frontman Al Nero, now performing & recording as Yip Man?
Graham Coxon’s numerous solo albums come to mind when you first put Braw Power on, particularly with the pace of second track ‘Not That Easy’. Nero includes a lot more proper organ, as well as keys, in his sound though so the more pop punk numbers on the disc gain greater depth, thereby recalling fellow Scots The High Fidelity. Elsewhere though ‘Silver Wings’ is reminiscent of Grandaddy. Plenty of indie touchstones around the place then.
Relationship pitfalls are amongst the subject matter, with boxing imagery used to good effect on the opener ‘Barnburner’ as well as the progress towards a break-up being the focus of ‘Kings And Queens’. Where the album is let down slightly is the song ordering. Having started off at an infectious pace it slows right down for the likes of ‘Taxi’ and ‘It’s About Time We Stopped’, although the latter makes up mostly in volume what it lacks in speed.
On the whole Braw Power’s an album that is worth a number of listens – it’s free of cynicism, doesn’t preach or try and ram any messages it may carry down your throat and, whilst having few if any hooky choruses or the like, you could well still find yourself humming a few of the tunes. As for longevity that’s in the lap of the Gods.
Braw Power is available from amazon.