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The Brides 

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The Brides Sofa City Sweetheart
2007, Dismal Abysmal Recordings

Merchants of the new wave, The Brides stick staunchly to the conviction that tetchy, insistent rhythms, insouciant vocals, and smart lyrics never go out of style, and on the four-piece’s second full-length disc, the band makes a convincing case.

Julia Ghoulia’s keyboards form the bedrock of a driving but controlled sound that at times threatens to explode into full-bore rock-attack mode and prefers to percolate in noirish shadows at others.Guitarist Corey Gorey handles most of the lead vocals, and his voice has an intelligent, biting quality reminiscent of a young Elvis Costello. Drummer D.W. Friend keeps the pulse rate high with a tom-tom heavy sound. Bass player Greg Jaw artfully weaves his lines into the dense sonic backdrop.

Produced by the band and Jacques Cohen, the disc conveys a tight, claustrophobic feeling, the lyrical themes pushing against the shackles of society—conformity, materialism, and expectations: “This expanse of scalp could be carpeted, these cockeyed windows refitted / This hump molehilled down from mountain size / Spiritual bankruptcy is the least problematic suffering / I’ve gotta buy everything—the world won’t let someone like me free-pass by,” sings Gorey on the new wave/disco opener “Needs and Luxuries.” The band effectively uses call and response in many songs, lending a girl-group-by-way-of-Blondie flourish to the proceedings, and the band favors the groove over the hook, using driving repetition to insinuate the music into the listener’s brain. Those with a jones for late-1970s-style edginess will definitely be sated. www.thebrides.net.

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