Stove Bredsky - The Black Ribbon Award
This time around, Stephen Brodsky reminds you of Alex Chilton in the mid 80s. Often, and on the same record, the Big Star himself would manage to deliver a couple sweet pop gems full of hooks, alongside barely held together experiments that were nevertheless worth exploring. Melodic 70s power pop is mixed with abrasive riffs and a slightly more skewed delivery. "The Black Ribbon Award," in lesser hands, might be a schizophrenic, self-indulgent mess. Brodsky, however, is never less than fascinating, and more often than not stunning.
The bridge between the melodic and warped is probably, "Dead Battery," which you can hum along to while it causes a creeping siezure. "Trout" and "Splatterbrain" are also tests of will, but even underneath the more direct assaults, there is a whimsy that matches well with the more straight-on rockers. No more proof is needed than the kazoo solo on "Prospect Hill." Of the rockers, "Dead Winter" is the most memorable, and that is saying a lot.
Here under the monicker of Stove Bredsky, Brodsky amazes yet again with his ear that never fails to hear something worth trying to make work in traditional song-structures. "The Black Ribbon Award" ought to win kudos for fans of challenging, but simple, and simply fun, creative explosions.
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