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Brady Brock

Thursday, December 27

Born and raised in Houston, Brady Brock played in the punk band the Grimple Twins before discovering his affinity for slow acoustic artists like Elliott Smith. Now Brock lives and plays in New York City's Lower East Side, just him and his acoustic guitar. I Will Live in You Where Your Heart Used to Be, Brock's recorded-in-Houston debut and Feel Records' first release, puts his observations about his friends and their issues to music. It's a stripped-down and honest-sounding album, halfway between folk and dreamy pop.

References to Texas stud the songs. There's a long breakup track called "Corpus Christi." And in "The Red Bus Has Got to Leave," Brock expresses homesickness along with a conflicting desire to be gone. "It looks as though we will be back in your arms in Texas again," he sings, "but I don't think this is how you earn your wings."

But for the most part, Brock's autumnal lyrics are uninspired. In "Pantomimed Pictures (on a Silver-lined Tree)," Brock offers the following nonsensical verse: "I stubbed my toe the other day / Forgot all the good things along the way / The Polaroids are all dyed black / In a box in a corner out back."

Clearly Brock isn't yet as witty as a John Wesley Harding; neither is his somber, gravelly voice that appealing. Each of his songs sounds like more of the same thought-impressions, or ramblings from Leonard Cohen's journal. With no narrative or clear sentiment, it's hard to get attached to them.

Songs with more vigorous movement, like "Walk, Don't Walk," stand on their own without calling much attention to the lyrics. The throwaway instrumental "The Eastern Air," on the other hand, manages to be repetitive in only two minutes and 28 seconds.

In his transition from punk rocker to indie pop singer-songwriter, Brock hasn't fully realized all of the elements. Not that his raw music doesn't have promise -- it just needs polish.

 
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