On this debut recording by Brice Randall Bickford II, the Strugglers (having since expanded to include a full-band lineup) produce a lo-fi mélange of caustic singer/songwriter minimalism, skeletal indie rock, and new wave-ish pop. With a thin voice that occasionally becomes a bit grating, Bickford has yet to find his footing as an artist, as his songwriting is still plagued by imprecise and commonplace themes, although he still produces a few decent hooks. For the most part, he seems to have a decent grasp on using the limits of four-track recording to his benefit, as he finds the warm snap and pop and raw quality that fans of the medium so cherish. Ultimately, nearly all the flaws inherent in Bickford's songwriting can be dismissed as the normal growing pains of any artist, as he displays enough talent to provide hope for the future.
Share this page