Saturday, April 2, 2011

The Braves - That's the Hot Part (2003, Arms Reach)

That's the Hot Part, issued on the now defunct Arms Reach Records label, was my first exposure The Braves, and though it pales slightly to the quintet's bolder follow-up, Love & Mercy, it's remarkable in it's own rite, albeit something of an acquired taste.  The group's rather indigenous blend of emotive fervor, gently smothered melodies, and unconstrained delivery all come together fluidly (and fluently) on this immensely promising half hour of power.  If you're still unconvinced, read what Big Takeover magazine had to say:

I’d love to ghettoize this album with a convenient, dumbed-down catchall tag, like “jangle-core” “mid-fi” or “inide rock,” but alas I’m out of luck.  There’s something immense going on within these five inches of aluminum that defies applying such mundane designations.  That’s the Hot Part pulses and breathes with the kind of sparseness and downbeat purity the Spinanes and Inbreds have made their calling card, but an average song length of a scant two minutes lends a detached and mildly fragmented template to the Braves performances.  Perhaps it’s not by coincidence that “Hear, Say!” lifts a good chunk of the melody from REM’s Murmur classic, “Catapult,” as The Braves’ strongest songs mesh with the refreshingly disassociated and atmospheric context of that album.  In this day and age, I’d say that makes That’s The Hot Part all the more vital.

You might still be able to obtain copies of TTHP through the always reliable and reasonably priced InterpunkJohann's Face Records who released the aforementioned Braves sophomore album, Love & Mercy should still have plenty of those in stock, as does Interpunk.

01. This is My Wife
02.  And These Are My Wedding Day Shoes
03. You're No F- Jazz Guitarist
04. Your Car
05. Young Loves
06. I Am a Patriot
07. We Haven't
08. Oh Wait, Yes We Have
09. But a Lieutenant
10. I Want to Build Us a Big White House
11. Young Lies
12. Gentlemen's Blues
13. Hear, Say!
14. Your Harmless Disposition

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