Brando

Single Crown Postcard

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Their first release after a move to a larger indie rock label, Brando clears away a little more of the lo-fi fuzz from their criminally obscure earlier releases, but generally keeps with their previous indie rock aesthetic. Still forced to work with bandmates who are spread over a large geographic area, from his home state of Indiana to Brazil, primary songwriter Derek Richey seems to be entirely comfortable with coordinating both his and his collaborators' muses in less-than-ideal conditions and emerging with a final product that suffers little from the lack of a truly cohesive sound. As usual, Richey is found to be in good voice and happy to explore the various strains of rock and pop found in the American underground, drawing from and recombining certain elements and tying them together in a package that belies the limitations of four-track recording. And while that's not to say that Richey is proven to be complacent here, as repeated listens reveal an album with considerable depth and numerous charms, from the indie soul of "Bye and Bye" and the burned-out '60s pop of "Partisan," he has yet to make the grand, career-defining album that could solidify Brando's status as genuine indie rock royalty. Albums as uniformly solid as this help move them an inch closer, however.

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