Broken Record's CD Review

Discussion in 'The Lounge' started by avvie, Apr 24, 2006.

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  1. avvie

    avvie Ke ali'i o na okole Tip Jar Donor

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    COPPER SUN
    "The Little Valley Variety Show"

    After months of promise, this disc finally arrived. The first thing that caught my attention was the fact that the band name was printed on the cover three times, reflecting the band's sensitivities to our attention-deficit culture. :))

    With the opening track, "Unbearable Predicament", this album wastes no time in grabbing your ear and filling it with some smooth, down-home, groovy butt-wigglers. No bone-crushing distortion, screaming or anarchy here...this is a band of musicians....yes, and that even includes the drummer.

    For this reviewer, Copper Sun would be placed in the same catagory aisle as Phish, Blues Traveller, and other jam bands of the post-Dead era, except that they know when to end a song. I am also hearing nods to early Train, the Allman Brothers Band and The Tragically Hip. Drummer Ron Payne shows an exceptional mastery of the skins, with plenty of very tasteful chops peppering the rhythm without being too flashy, busy or overbearing....here's a guy who knows how to play from his wrists instead of his biceps. Bassist Jason Abbott knows his scales, and uses that knowledge very effectively in delivering smooth, meandering countermelodies to the groove. Guitarists Mac Bartine and Brad Coulter alternate between acoustic and tastefully processed clean electric guitar tones, often delivered with a distinct southern/midwestern feel. I felt a hint of 70's nostalgia in the phased guitars of "Devil In My Pocket".

    The album credits both Bartine and Coulter with vocals, so it's undetermined who is the lead singer. Whoever it is, he feels every note and delivers them with enthusiastic sincerity. His tone reminds me in a big way of Gordon Downie of The Tragically Hip, who I am a big fan of, so I'm a little biased. The lyrics are thoughtful, prosy and clever ("Carnival of sins for sale/ and man I want to buy/diggin in my pockets/ for some thrill I want to try"; "My day is slow like caterpillar and I hope to butterfly away soon cause chasing flowers would make this all worthwhile"); with occasional dips into the esoteric: "How could you not like a vegetable dish with a name like succotash? Yeah, I'm asking how could you not like that?"

    If there's a down point on the album, it is arguably the ninth track, "Yankee Type Women", where the band decides to make a humorous turn with a grits-and-backbacon country tour-de-farce which levels verbal assaults against a girl who doesn't appreciate Southern living. With such a drastic change in vibe, this cute, tongue-in-cheek number would have been better placed as a hidden track for the surprise effect.

    Overall, this is a fine collection of grooves; I didn't hear anything I didn't like.... excellent music for playing the steering wheel in the car of life while travelling down two-lane roads and sidestreets. It's also great music for beer-and-burger cookouts, or for times such as right now, when I'm watching the traffic roll by and the college girls saunter down the sidewalk in short skirts and halter tops on a fine spring day.
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  2. TitanJeff

    TitanJeff Kahuna Grande Staff

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    And where might we sample some of this "ear-gasmic" tunage?
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  3. avvie

    avvie Ke ali'i o na okole Tip Jar Donor

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    Um, I'm working on that...


    And here's a link:
    Copper Sun

    Click on the lo-fi or hi-fi buttons beside the song title to stream
    Click mp3 to download
    #3
  4. Broken Record

    Broken Record Biscuit Eater Staff

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    Thanks so much for the humbling review Avvie. I appreciate you taking the time to share your thoughts about Copper Sun. I've been lucky enough to hear some of your work and to get a glowing review from someone with your talent means a lot.

    You nailed a lot of our influences. We weren't very good at hiding them! My guitar work is definitely influenced by the southern flavored bands of the 70s like the Allman Brothers, Pure Prairie League, early Eagles, etc.

    The only singing I actually did on the CD was on the song you didn't like (also the only lyrics I wrote, the rest are Mac's), but I agree with your criticism of "Yankee Type Women." We had a decent bar following before we released the CD and that song was pretty popular on the bar scene, so we included it even though it didn't match anything else on the release. If I had thought of your idea to make it a bonus track when we were in the studio, I definitely would've done that.

    Unfortunately, the CD was kind of our last hurrah before we all got married, started having kids and taking crappy jobs, but at least we've got those few songs saved to look back on:winker:
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  5. Hoffa

    Hoffa Not Family?Then freak you you freakin' freak

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    I really enjoyed the instrumentals, but didn't care much for the vocals.
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  6. avvie

    avvie Ke ali'i o na okole Tip Jar Donor

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    Oh, now you're just sucking up..I'm sloppy as hell and you know it. :ha:

    I didn't say that I didn't like it; just that it was badly placed ;)


    Musicians have jobs??
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  7. avvie

    avvie Ke ali'i o na okole Tip Jar Donor

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    As I mentioned, Mac sounds a LOT like Gordon Downie of The Tragically Hip, and the general consensus with Downie is that you either like him or you don't. I happen to be a big fan, so Mac suits me fine.
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  8. Broken Record

    Broken Record Biscuit Eater Staff

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    Sloppy isn't an adjective I would use to describe your music.

    Fair enough on that one.


    Hahaha... crappy jobs. The drummer and I both work in the IT industry. The bassist married a French girl and now sells lima beans in France or some such nonsense and the singer works in admissions for a local college near Knoxville.
    #8
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