Red Shirt Brigade
Home of the Cannon Saints
Ending a pretty good year of music releases, I can think of no other band that I would like to end this year of reviews on than this release by the Red Shirt Brigade. Distilling classic pop sensibilities through a modern sensibility, albeit one thoroughly infused by indie-rock craftsmanship, these songs incorporate a wide array of disparate and distinct influences that are skillfully melded into an organic whole. Whether the track is “Thugs With Venom,” which sounds like a lo-fi, bed-sitter pop classic or “The Jigsaw Back” which opens with its Casio swirling keyboard and melody reminiscent of ’80s videogames, the songs exudes charm and confidence. One of my favorite tracks, “Booty Boot Camp,” opens with a spooky little keyboard riff before taking flight with the rest of the band and exploring the rest of the musical cosmos. The closest comparison I could make to any other band would be to imagine Death Cab for Cutie after they’ve replaced their sour lyrical penchant for failed relationships with a heady dose of whimsy.