When All Else Fails

Fat Wreck Chords

Once again, Bracket shows up at my door, sounding exactly the same. Fortunately for Bracket, they’re one of those bands I can’t seem to get permanently sick of. Like cotton candy, it’s almost overwhelmingly sweet, and right after that first bite you begin to wonder just how you’ll manage to finish the whole thing. And like cotton candy, all reservations are forgotten the second the fluffy pink cloud is in your hand again.

Bracket’s particular version of fuzzy pop punk is the result of by a solid wall of twin guitars, like velour against cinderblock. A tight rhythm section and liberal doses of vocal harmonies help identify Bracket, but what really sets them apart is that unidentifiable knack for writing melodies that are clearly Bracket’s from what sounds to be a pretty limited range of jolly chords.

Then again, maybe it’s the band’s ability to grin sheepishly as they handle dangerous pointy lyrics like “Yoko Oh-No,” about the perils of being in a band and having an Other. “Me vs. The World” questions punk poser motivations, while “Cynically Depressed” and “Suicide Note” are not quite the peppy numbers their music would have you believe. Another deception worth noting is “Everyone Is Telling Me I’ll Never Win, if I Fall in Love with a Girl from Marin,” the opening track that is far snappier that its title. Pure spun sugar packed with mighty vitamins!

Fat Wreck Chords, P.O. Box 193690, San Francisco, CA 94119-3690;

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