Brett Rosenberg

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Shocktwins Review

by Jason Damas

Crediting his fourth album to merely Brett Rosenberg and dropping "Problem" is somewhat emblematic of Rosenberg's approach on his fourth album. While each of his first three discs explored tough, powerful, and catchy rock & roll, this album finds him getting in touch with '90s indie rock. Shocktwins is basically an expansive set of demos released in their semi-finished state, so comparisons to Guided By Voices or early Liz Phair are perhaps somewhat obvious. But while this album is a major departure from what he's done so far, Rosenberg still cooks up an instantly catchy and memorable batch of songs. Rambling, two-minute pop songs like "Missing the Best Part" and "Low" all sport fully developed hooks and structures; they just don't stay around any longer than they really need to. This back-to-basics approach means these tunes tend to be a little quieter and a whole lot scruffier than what was on his earlier discs, but repeat listens prove them all to be every bit as strong. It's true that the very approach of Shocktwins makes it marginally less accessible than his earlier releases, and thus it's probably not the place to start, but fans of Rosenberg's prior output shouldn't be disappointed.

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