Monday, August 4, 2014

Intentions - Brave City

Brave City: the hometown band with vision for bigger and better things. Intentions is the start of something big for this group. With only 5 songs, Brave City shows their potential and variety with a multitude of different sounds and vibes that are explored throughout this album. Their lead single "Avalanche" (for my detailed review of that, click here ) was just a taste of their hard work and dedication, and those aspects of the group are very present in these new songs.

The album kicks off with "Sweet Teeth", full of gritty guitars and passionate vocals. It has a nice mix of a faster tempo and a dark nature that doesn't get the listener down. I especially enjoy the build in the bridge, which erupts powerfully with cries of "I don't wanna hear about it" and "What do you want, do you want from me?" interweaving as the band's dual vocals shine through. The contrasting nature of the gritty almost screams with the more traditional, smooth singing further pushes the passion behind the track. The next song, "You, Me, and A Ghost" starts with an extended instrumental intro, but then surprises the listener by going from a more relaxed verse to a chorus that almost sounds happy, like Brand New from "Your Favorite Weapon" era.  One of the best parts of the song is the outro, which is a solid breakdown that'll make you want to get on your feet and jump around or nod your head along. Their strongest song, (in my opinion), is their lead single "Avalanche". The dual vocals shine their brightest here, with Garrett Jackman and Danny Pruit in a constant exchange of back and forth singing. The instrumental is on point, clean and crisp as it takes you from pulsing verses hinted with synths to overdriven guitars and crashing drums leading ann impassioned chorus.

Not all of their songs follow in this same vein, however; "Coming Home" is a stripped down song that utilizes clean guitars and quiet vocals to create something with unexpected maturity and depth from a band who is just getting their feet on the ground. It builds into something bigger, but does not lose the sensitivity and vulnerability created by the first half of the track. The gang vocals about 5 minutes in add another layer of depth to the song, and truly give it a beautiful sound. It is very 30 Seconds To Mars "This Is War"-esc. Their album closer "The Great White" is not necessarily a mellow song, but it is at a slower tempo and plays less on their aggressive sound found in the other tracks. It is a steady build, which they seem to do quite well, and is definitely memorable, lyrically. The line "I've got no skin, but it still crawls for you" is genius in my mind. I love how catchy and eerie and even relatable it is. This song may be longer at 7 and 1/2 minutes, but it's definitely worth the listen.

All in all, another solid piece of work from a band who is on the edge of bursting out and becoming bigger than playing local shows in the Bay. Despite the limitations of home-studios and a lack of access to huge resources, this CD has come out like something that bands with much more experience would create. Brave City, a job well done, and the best of luck to as you continue to do great things!

Rating: 9/10
Recommended: Avalanche, The Great White, Sweet Teeth
Sounds like: Brand New, Manchester Orchestra, 30 Seconds To Mars

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