[5 November 2006]
You’d think we would all be sick of the lo-fi pop stuff that every guy with ProTools in his parents’ basement seems to be putting out by now. Maybe a lot of us are. Off the top, Brent Gorton’s music may garner some skepticism, but fortunately some actual musicianship gets thrown back into the mix this time to make it less of the same. Brent Gorton’s first label release was recorded, yes at home, but entirely in a studio he put together from second-hand pieces, including an open reel 8-track machine. Beyond trying his hand at playing almost every instrument on the album, Gorton’s tech- saviness here creates a unique recording that actually ends up free from the muddiness often associated with the usual lo-fi home recording systems. Further indie cred comes from the mastering talents contributed by Roger Seibel, known for his work with Guided by Voices and Modest Mouse. It’s not ground-breaking stuff here, but album centerpiece “That Photograph” is a really entertaining combination of Gorton’s lo-fi stylings with his Bobby Darin and Buddy Holly influences.
These days, Gorton’s getting around the impossible demands of performing his album’s material solo and has recruited his girlfriend Kellie Steele and her best friend Brooke Degener on bass and drums respectively. Unfortunately, the new lineup has also resulted in a re-naming, and consequently Gorton is now more commonly referred to as Brent Gorton and the Tender Breasts. Not the best naming choice perhaps, but it will inevitably get Gorton away from his 8-track and out of the basement.