the Brannock Device - "Where
the Hell is Johnny Vic?"
This is one of the more interesting local discs I've had the pleasure
of listening to. It's interesting because it's one of the first that
I've listened to that doesn't immediately fit into one classification.
It bucks the system. Rather than immediately being stuck into a pop
rock or hard rock category, the Brannock Device is more of an
amalgamism. Their sound has the intensity of rock, the looseness of
blues, the honesty of prairie rock and at times, even the passion of
indie rock - all glued together with a good dose of humor. And by using
all of those "classifications" together in one sentence, I almost feel
like I've just committed a sin. So... let's just say that the Brannock
Device is difficult to describe - and leave it at that.
But not being able to describe a sound isn't to say it's not good. Where the Hell is Johnny Vic? is a
very solid album, with some of the most involving songs I've heard in
quite some time - yet maintaining a sense of humor and playfulness that
can only be fully appreciated by seeing them live.
The title track is a foot-stomper that sets up the rest of the disc
very well. "Loaded for Bear" seems to just sort of wander, but has an
underlying guitar line and drum beat that bring it back every time. And
"Ron Express" is a very lazy, relaxing instrumental that winds down the
CD very well.
But by far, the best song on the disc has got to be "When You're Out of
Bullets, Throw the Gun." It's a bit more rollicking than the rest,
moving at a faster pace. "When You're Out of Bullets..." also has more
of a "hook" to it than the rest, which might have you humming it with a
smile for the rest of the day.
The only real troubles I have with this disc is that the vocals are a
bit flat. The guitar, bass, and drums are all solid as a rock. The
vocals just seem to detract some from the rest of the album. Oddly, The
Brannock Device doesn't have that lack of vocal quality live, which is
kinda sad for this disc. Regardless, it's still a worthwhile pickup,
should you have the opportunity.