The Pernice Brothers

Australia Tour EP 2002

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The Pernice Brothers' Australia Tour EP 2002 is made up of songs recorded live with a stripped-down version of the group in January of 2002. Of the five songs, three come from 2001's The World Won't End ("Bright Side," "Flaming Wreck," and "Cronulla Breakdown") and two come from 1998's Overcome By Happiness ("Dimmest Star" and "All I Know"). The instrumentation is simple, just guitars (electric and acoustic), bass, and drums with no keyboards; the vocals are direct and intimate with restrained harmonies. The songs from The World Won't End sound similar to the album versions but less glossy and perfect. They are still just as beautiful, and Pernice's aching vocals and heartstring-plucking chord progressions may cut even deeper in this format. The tracks from Overcome are more radical reworkings because that album was such a pristine work of pocket orchestral perfection. Both songs are melancholy gems that sound just as good on a smaller scale, "Dimmest Star" being especially well arranged; the guitar leaps out of the mix shockingly and the vocal harmonies are beautiful. So many bands make the mistake of thinking acoustic or stripped-down versions of songs will be interesting just because they are different than the originals, so they put no effort into arranging them. The Pernice Brothers do not fall into that trap. This release is an unexpected treat for Pernice Brothers fans, making the wait between albums more tolerable. [Note that the second and third tracks are labeled incorrectly. The titles should be flip-flopped, with "Flaming Wreck" being track two and "All I Know" track three.]

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