Don't judge Brief Candles by the name. On Fractured Days, the shoegazers shine brightly.
It’s no surprise Brief Candles get lumped into the shoegaze genre with pioneers My Bloody Valentine and Ride, as well as with the more recent revivalists, Silversun Pickups. Singer Kevin Dixon's hollow voice is an unmistakable fit for the category. As is the raucous distortion generated by Dixon and guitarist Ryan Sullivan. Unlike the band's previous work, on which it had a field day with noise pedals, the Milwaukee quartet instead conjures a more mid-'90s alt-rock sound on the newest effort. It's a sound that recalls early Radiohead and Smashing Pumpkins, incorporating symphonic guitar-picking with less bombast and more tranquility. It even dips into ethereal territory on tracks such as “Permafrost” and “The Sediment”, where atmospheric textures are employed that Explosions in the Sky could file a lawsuit over. Just don't judge this group by its name, because for the majority of Fractured Days, Brief Candles shines brightly.