Coming out of the gates with a very soulful style of acoustic-rock, Brandonâ€™s voice provides the perfect contrast to eirâ€™s instrument. While â€œCounting the Pacesâ€ has hints of the vocal quality of pop-megastar John Maher, the plodding nature of the songs creates a soul mood for the opening of the CD. The length of â€œCounting the Pacesâ€, by far the longest on the disc, is a definite hurdle to the rest of the CD, which picks up steam with the second track, â€œWhatâ€™s the Worst That Could Happen?â€ â€œShould Confusionâ€ is mastered perfectly for the style of music that it contains, with the natural noise of the acoustic allowed to shine through, a conscious decision to make the listener feel as if they were in a small coffee-shop with Brandon. The two-halves of the aforementioned â€œWTWTCHâ€ provide the first inklings of the experimental nature of Brandon that would rear their head more overtly later on the disc.
Some of the tracks are cheese-ball indie rock in the vein of Matthew Sweet, especially in â€œMo Songâ€, which has the gem of a chorus in â€œMo, please donâ€™t put your cigarette out on your shoe, cause it burns your soul.â€ The fact that Brandon repeats this line no less than 20 times during the song really decreases any kitschiness that it may have had and turns it into nothing more than an annoyance. Moving into a set of horns in â€œThirty-One Hundred Milesâ€, Brandon really pounds that indie-pop style to its logical conclusion, fitting perfectly into a box. But then, we are introduced to the save grace to a CD that might otherwise be lost for all of time in a clearance box, in the amazing work that is â€œAuspicious Momentâ€.
Sounding like a mixture of Talking Heads and Anthro Rex, â€œAuspicious Momentâ€ is a move away from the indie-rock for the rest of the band. â€œAuspicious Momentâ€ is a track that cannot be boxed up into genre convention, and the lyrics are incredibly irreverent. Getting into a slam-poetry tone, Brandon conjures up the inner rhythm, one that has been beating down in everyoneâ€™s heart since the evolution into modern human. One an album that is without any stand-out tracks, â€œAuspicious Momentâ€ is that one track that is completely divorced from any current that is running through the CD, and as such, it is the saving grace of the CD. Brandon Patton may be able to do one thing incredibly well, but doesnâ€™t allow eirâ€™s listeners to really get anything in the way or eirâ€™s visions besides for â€œAuspicious Momentâ€. Hopefully, eirâ€™s next disc will have more of the experimentation and less of the indie-rock by rote that litters this disc.
Rating : 5.3/10
Brandon Patton â€“ Should Confusion / 2002 Merlin Pool Music / 9 Tracks / http://www.brandonpatton.com / Reviewed 19 February 2004
Top Tracks : Auspicious Moment, Everybody Loves You Now