Brookside – Tonight, Long Island (CD)

I still remember the first time I saw Brookside live. It was in a coffee shop in Greencastle, Indiana wwhen only about twenty individuals were in attendance. Despite the poor acoustics of the venue, the energy of Brookside was able to shine. This energy is the same on “Tonight, Long Island”. I know that both the Purevolume and Myspace pages of Brookside have tracks by the band, but having the better bitrate and the context of these songs placed alongside another makes this immediately one of the best emo albums in a year that has seen a lot of disappointment.

The title track opens up the disc, and while it does not have the catchy chorus as “Silence As A Weapon”, the interplay between the various pieces of the band will draw individuals in for the long haul. For those individuals that are intimately familiar with the band’s website, there is a reason to buy this disc; “Perfect Coastline” shows a maturation of the band’s sound that outstrips even tracks like “Myspace Ruined All My Important Relationships”. The vocals occupy a focal point during all the tracks on “Tonight, Long Island”, but they are not pushing the rest of the output of the band to a dark corner. Each park of Brookside is allowed to shine, and the fullness created by the band is something that has not been heard since the heyday of bands on Deep Elm records.

The band has been able to sell thousands of copies of their previous demo, and I have no doubt that Brookside will be able to push 10,000 of “Tonight, Long Island” is they continue on the road as they have since 2001. Even when Brookside slows things down, like is the case with “Pretty In Pictures”, one can hear the intensity swirling all around Matt’s vocals and the guitar lines that highlight each important syllable. Brookside is able to keep individuals listening in with a melancholy approach that does not turn to self-parody like many of the acts that have preceded them (just think of Simple Plan and Good Charlotte, if you don’t know what I mean). It may have been a few years since I’ve seen Brookside, but I still can sing along to the songs that they played that night that make it onto this disc. It may be Panic Records that the band is on now, but look to 2007 or 2008 and chances are great that they will be on Drive-Thru or The Militia Group. This is not because they have a marketable sound or the haircut to set teens’ hearts aflame, but that they create an album that can stand the test of time without losing any of the pop ties that they’ve cultivated.

Top Tracks: Are You Satisfied, Silence As A Weapon

Rating: 9.3/10

Brookside – Tonight, Long Island / 2006 Panic Records / 11 Tracks / http://www.myspace.com/brookside / >http://www.panicrecords.net / Reviewed 01 October 2006

[JMcQ]

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