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Sound Check

CD Reviews

2/13/2013

CD muddy_rails_albumMuddy Rails

‘Muddy Rails’

Brolester

Muddy Rails is a throwback to the glory days of SoCal punk-pop. “The Green Automobile” and its opening declaration of “My my how the years can change a man/and this is what I’ve settled into” is straight out of the Social Distortion playbook. And just like Social D, even when the band doesn’t have anything particularly new to say — “Pride and Dollar Signs” is a lark disguised as a “wake up sheeple” manifesto — they still say it in a way that’s so engaging and fun, it’s hard not to get swept up in the moment. From a production standpoint, the album is a little more DIY than it probably needs to be, and a cleaner recording might have served the songs better. But this is still one of the best local scratches for your pop-punk itch. CV

“Muddy Rails” is available at http://brolesterrecords.com/.

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CD one_hundred_mondays_albumOne Hundred Mondays

‘Edge of the Canvas’

Brolester

Right off the top “Edge of the Canvas” is an uneven album. But it’s uneven in a way that actually comes off as disarming and even a little charming in places. Lead singer Michael Couvillon’s vocals are at times overly-earnest (“Sandhills”), but when he’s able to put his shoulder into it (“Stranger”), he elevates the band to a sound that’s kind of a poor man’s version of a poor man’s version of AC/DC. The head of this class is pretty easily the guitar work of Tom Buckmiller, who handles the changes from classic rock posturing to three-chord blues riffs fairly well. But there’s no place on the album where the backing vocals really seem to work and nothing in the track list to truly move the album from “decent” to “great.” CV

One Hundred Mondays play the Underground on Friday, Feb. 15 at 9 p.m.

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