Brent Cramer’s DIY slacker punk rock is a wildly eclectic and often entertaining blend as evidenced by this self-titled debut album. These days, Cramer is a four-piece band, but this album (recorded two years ago) sees Brent tackling all songwriting and instruments himself, except for the drums and a short burst of mandolin. Oh yeah, and Teddy Pendergrass, of all people, has an unlikely guest spot on the very wonderful “Thanks Again.”
With an ear for clever melodies and wordy narratives, Cramer the album is incessantly catchy and surprisingly fun, despite the darker currents that run throughout. Some will argue that this is a far too disparate and sprawling affair, but such complaints fail to register Cramer’s overview and musical coherency; a punk-edged theatrical outlook that offers versions of Beck-ish Americana alongside anti-folk’s ironic misanthropy, and that places Kurt Cobain alongside Hawksley Workman.
“I’m not afraid of the future, it couldn’t get much worse,” Cramer offers on “Never Come.” Life-affirming by default, perhaps, but nonetheless life-affirming.
Last Beat Records: http://www.lastbeatrecords.com/