Bob Evans

The Bradley Suite

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The Bradley Suite Review

by Scott Janovitz

The Bradley Suite is an energizing exercise in dissonance. Typical of many of the Skene! bands of the '90s, Bob Evans (a group, not an individual) plays dark, atmospheric rock. And the band manages to pull this off with the aid of only guitar, bass, and drums, without falling victim to the monotony that claimed many of their grunge contemporaries. Instead, The Bradley Suite follows a sonic route similar to the one taken by Jawbox, employing edgy guitars and vocals to create extreme dynamics -- lulling at one moment, screaming toward the end at another. There are also great acoustic-based interludes, like "Campaign" or the short instrumental "Communipaw." These breaks highlight the spacious nature of the rest of the songs, by way of their sparse instrumentation and roomy recording. "Wolfuckingapig" is the highlight, incorporating the best of what Bob Evans accomplishes with The Bradley Suite -- starting off with a low-key chorus-effected guitar riff and some minimal percussion, the song intermittently explodes in bursts of screaming, delayed vocals, overdriven guitars, and alternately timed beats. Many of the songs on the record don't really end, they either peter out or, like "Wolfuckingapig," simply stop. The overall effect of this is an uneasy impression of unresolved anguish and dissatisfaction. Though there is not really a dull moment on The Bradley Suite, the guitar hooks and vocals start to sound the same and prevent any strength of clarity for the album as a whole.

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