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Brandon Butler

Lucky Thumbs

(Gypsy Eyes; US: 17 Apr 2007; UK: Available as import)

It’s a blueprint that isn’t all that new, but is still an interesting proposition. Brandon Butler fronted emo band Boys Life for a while several years ago, but has seemingly grown up a bit, ditching the wails for the jangles of roots rock tunes like “Sparks”, which could be found on any decent Mellencamp album. And the sweetness of the opening verse continues throughout. From there, Butler outdoes himself with the slower, Americana-leaning “Fire and the Wheel”, which sounds sincere and not forced, sort of like Soul Asylum in an acoustic setting. Opting for a harrowing, barren arrangement during the aptly titled “Happy Sound (Dark and Pretty)”, Butler doesn’t bite off more than he can chew, but does sound just a bit out of his element. Fortunately, he shines on the gorgeous, deliberate “Never on a Sunday”, which has an uplifting quality about it, while “Throw Back Rockers” is a throw back rocker indeed.

Rating:

Originally from Cape Breton, MacNeil is currently writing for the Toronto Sun as well as other publications, including All Music Guide, Billboard.com, NME.com, Country Standard Time, Skope Magazine, Chart Magazine, Glide, Ft. Myers Magazine and Celtic Heritage. A graduate of the University of King's College, MacNeil currently resides in Toronto. He has interviewed hundreds of acts ranging from Metallica and AC/DC to Daniel Lanois and Smokey Robinson. MacNeil (modestly referred to as King J to friends), a diehard Philadelphia Flyers fan, has seen the Rolling Stones in a club setting, thereby knowing he will rest in peace at some point down the road. Oh, and he writes for PopMatters.com.


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