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.