Music

Bronze Radio Return: Shake! Shake! Shake!

An inspiring band from Hartford, CT, sets out to move the crowd.


Bronze Radio Return

Shake! Shake! Shake!

Label: Independent
US Release Date: 2011-03-19
UK Release Date: Import
Amazon
iTunes

On it’s sophomore full-length recording, the Hartford, CT, based Bronze Radio Return (BRR) continues to define its sound. Shake! Shake! Shake! is a well-produced and polished CD that finds the band continuing to move beyond the roots rock leanings of its debut EP. The sound is a clear move toward a more radio friendly, rock/pop sound, yet its is anything but trite, clichéd or overtly commercial. This is hook laden modern rock meant to get souls moving.

BRR seems to be aware of its youth as a band and the uphill challenge it faces of declining recorded music sales, yet it is confident enough to draw fans in with its stage presence. Opener “Down There” gives the record its kick-start with a pounding one-two bass and snare drum beat and chiming electric guitar. It’s a call-out to fans, old and new, to join the band as it plays on a mountainside; “It’ll be just us and the trees, and a little fresh air”, or on the city streets -- “Meet me in the city where the streets run down/Gather up the crowd in an empty town”. The title track is a catchy foot tapper that features a steady cadence of hand claps and rat-a-tat percussion that pleads for one person on the floor to lead the way, start moving and the crowd will follow.

Ghosts of the sea haunt this album in several tracks. “Wonder No More” is a melodic sea chantey (catch a wave on the “oh, oh, oh” chorus) that soars along on a rhythmic keyboard and haunting lead vocal -- “A mile down the road that the black stones pave/I ran from the sea and got caught by her wave/she took me away”. And “Broken Ocean” contemplates global warming and imagines a water world of sorts with lessons learned the hard way: “When the lesson’s learned and written on a page/I’ll buy the book to watch it burn and save the ashes/For soon arrives an age, a loss of innocence when we get judged in every way/That stops the splashes/stops the splashes”. It’s got a bit of a country and western noir to it with cowboy whistles and gently laced banjo in the background.

The turbulent “Warm Day, Cold War” rides along on a rolling bass groove and spiraling guitar shards, while the too pleasant, poppy tone of the acoustic ditty “Sell It To You” takes a shot at crass commercialism, and could very well be specifically referencing today’s popular music -- “It’s something new/Or becoming long overdue/Simon says it’s not what it is man/It’s how its sold to you”. Closer “Sticks and Stones” is a lovely but aching, acoustic guitar and piano ballad that begs of the song's protagonist to get out of a house and/or town that does nothing but bring him/her down.

Shake! Shake! Shake! Is a fun and enjoyable listen for music fans of any genre, from a band on the cusp of success.

7

So far J. J. Abrams and Rian Johnson resemble children at play, remaking the films they fell in love with. As an audience, however, we desire a fuller experience.

As recently as the lackluster episodes I-III of the Star Wars saga, the embossed gold logo followed by scrolling prologue text was cause for excitement. In the approach to the release of any of the then new prequel installments, the Twentieth Century Fox fanfare, followed by the Lucas Film logo, teased one's impulsive excitement at a glimpse into the next installment's narrative. Then sat in the movie theatre on the anticipated day of release, the sight and sound of the Twentieth Century Fox fanfare signalled the end of fevered anticipation. Whatever happened to those times? For some of us, is it a product of youth in which age now denies us the ability to lose ourselves within such adolescent pleasure? There's no answer to this question -- only the realisation that this sensation is missing and it has been since the summer of 2005. Star Wars is now a movie to tick off your to-watch list, no longer a spark in the dreary reality of the everyday. The magic has disappeared… Star Wars is spiritually dead.

Keep reading... Show less
6

This has been a remarkable year for shoegaze. If it were only for the re-raising of two central pillars of the initial scene it would still have been enough, but that wasn't even the half of it.

It hardly needs to be said that the last 12 months haven't been everyone's favorite, but it does deserve to be noted that 2017 has been a remarkable year for shoegaze. If it were only for the re-raising of two central pillars of the initial scene it would still have been enough, but that wasn't even the half of it. Other longtime dreamers either reappeared or kept up their recent hot streaks, and a number of relative newcomers established their place in what has become one of the more robust rock subgenre subcultures out there.

Keep reading... Show less
Theatre

​'The Ferryman': Ephemeral Ideas, Eternal Tragedies

The current cast of The Ferryman in London's West End. Photo by Johan Persson. (Courtesy of The Corner Shop)

Staggeringly multi-layered, dangerously fast-paced and rich in characterizations, dialogue and context, Jez Butterworth's new hit about a family during the time of Ireland's the Troubles leaves the audience breathless, sweaty and tearful, in a nightmarish, dry-heaving haze.

"Vanishing. It's a powerful word, that"

Northern Ireland, Rural Derry, 1981, nighttime. The local ringleader of the Irish Republican Army gun-toting comrades ambushes a priest and tells him that the body of one Seamus Carney has been recovered. It is said that the man had spent a full ten years rotting in a bog. The IRA gunslinger, Muldoon, orders the priest to arrange for the Carney family not to utter a word of what had happened to the wretched man.

Keep reading... Show less
10

Aaron Sorkin's real-life twister about Molly Bloom, an Olympic skier turned high-stakes poker wrangler, is scorchingly fun but never takes its heroine as seriously as the men.

Chances are, we will never see a heartwarming Aaron Sorkin movie about somebody with a learning disability or severe handicap they had to overcome. This is for the best. The most caffeinated major American screenwriter, Sorkin only seems to find his voice when inhabiting a frantically energetic persona whose thoughts outrun their ability to verbalize and emote them. The start of his latest movie, Molly's Game, is so resolutely Sorkin-esque that it's almost a self-parody. Only this time, like most of his better work, it's based on a true story.

Keep reading... Show less
7

There's something characteristically English about the Royal Society, whereby strangers gather under the aegis of some shared interest to read, study, and form friendships and in which they are implicitly agreed to exist insulated and apart from political differences.

There is an amusing detail in The Curious World of Samuel Pepys and John Evelyn that is emblematic of the kind of intellectual passions that animated the educated elite of late 17th-century England. We learn that Henry Oldenburg, the first secretary of the Royal Society, had for many years carried on a bitter dispute with Robert Hooke, one of the great polymaths of the era whose name still appears to students of physics and biology. Was the root of their quarrel a personality clash, was it over money or property, over love, ego, values? Something simple and recognizable? The precise source of their conflict was none of the above exactly but is nevertheless revealing of a specific early modern English context: They were in dispute, Margaret Willes writes, "over the development of the balance-spring regulator watch mechanism."

Keep reading... Show less
8
Pop Ten
Mixed Media
PM Picks

© 1999-2017 Popmatters.com. All rights reserved.
Popmatters is wholly independently owned and operated.

rating-image