Braddock Station Garrison – A Hint of Recognition

BSG_RingMaster Review

Last year US rock band Braddock Station Garrison gave a strong and enjoyable introduction to their rock ‘n’ roll with debut EP/mini album High Water. Exploring all the best bits of that release whilst honing other potential but previously less striking elements in their sound, the Washington DC quartet has recently unveiled its successor, A Hint of Recognition. Still carrying a flavoursome Americana tang to their no frills rock ‘n’ roll, Braddock Station Garrison have produced another highly magnetic and creatively organic proposition with their second full-length to thoroughly enjoy. It is probably not a game changer in stirring major awareness of the band by wider spotlights, though it has enough to make a stir if given the chance, but A Hint of Recognition is definitely going to entice new fans as they show they are heading in the right creative direction for bigger rewards ahead.

Formed by vocalist/guitarist Steve Schillinger and lead guitarist Tom Soha in 2011; Braddock Station Garrison take inspirations from the likes of Tom Petty, Neil Young & Crazy Horse, Cheap Trick, Aerosmith, Johnny Cash, and The Smithereens into their openly growing sound. Completed by drummer Michael Chapman and bassist Michael Haddad, a line-up in place since mid-2014, the band released High Water last year to keen responses. Its fusion of classic and modern sounds was a highly appetising if unspectacular proposal which left a richness of pleasure in its wake. A Hint of Recognition continues the groundwork it laid but with more inventive tenacity, bolder imagination, and depth of sound. It is still not the offering to make an explosive impact but it definitely guarantees a thoroughly enjoyable time with every listen and who can say no to that.

cover_RingMaster Review   The album opens with Forgotten Teenage Dream, a contagious little number with jangly riffs and a great alluring bassline alongside the ever distinctive and appealing tones of Schillinger. With crispy beats adding to the easy going stroll, the song rather than providing a big splash to start things off is more a catchy coaxing, a warm up to bigger and brighter things. Nevertheless grooves and melodies offer a pleasing tempting which the more relaxed and emotive She’s Too Cool employs with relish in its more fifties rockabilly seeded stroll. As in its predecessor and the band’s sound generally, there is a masterful simplicity at work; leanness to the invention which ensures only the choice cuts of sound and imagination get involved in the song whilst avoiding unnecessary embellishments.

Things really takes off from the album’s third track, Lies, where once more a fifties breeding is carried by the tantalising air of the song, and initially through another tasty bass lure and the rich vocals. It is a flavour continued by sultry melodies and welcoming riffs cast by the guitars whilst a raw cascade of intensity only adds to the drama and unrelenting addictiveness of the song. Its success seems to spark something extra in its following companions too, Hey Cindy spinning a web of sonic tendrils across its body within a great rhythmic beckoning next. To this the guitars spray a creative smog like contrails behind a plane, with both Chapman and Haddad laying down gripping bait before Never In Danger emulates the earlier Lies with its own dark rock hues, though this time they touch upon a R.E.M. colouring in the song’s evocative swing. Infectious from first breath to last, the track is a reserved but lively seduction adding more warmth to the satisfaction already brewed by A Hint of Recognition.

More heady bass temptation brings a grin to lips as Any Day Any Way opens up, the enticement persistent as guitars spread fuzzy causticity across a punkish encounter unafraid to change tact and energy at the drop of a note. More inventive and fiery with each passing minute, the track is another striking high point which Stop and Reflect struggles to match right after, though its country twang and melodic smoulder only feeds a happy appetite before Johnny Stone Stole My Girl brings things to a rocking close. Its unsurprising yet irresistibly catchy shuffle feeds all wants from a slice of rock ‘n’ roll, especially with more of that flavoursome old school fifties tone to please personal tastes; a pursuit of which would definitely go down well and add something more to future Braddock Station Garrison songs it is easy to suggest on the evidence of A Hint of Recognition. More of the very solid and enjoyable sounds found on the band’s new album would be quite fine too.

A Hint of Recognition is out now via the Braddock Station Garrison Bandcamp.

https://www.facebook.com/BraddockStationGarrison   https://twitter.com/BSGRockNRoll

Pete RingMaster 29/09/2015

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Braddock Station Garrison – High Water

Braddock Station Garrison

    Merging evocative Americana with feisty rock ‘n’ roll, US band Braddock Station Garrison make a very pleasing and richly promising introduction with their debut EP High Water. Six tracks which ignite the imagination and appetite for instinctive melodic rock, the release is an adventurous endeavour which at its heights ignites the passions and in its quieter moments of persuasion provides a vibrant and absorbing charm draped with drifting emotive shadows. It is not an explosive invitation into the band but one of compelling substance and lingering persuasion.

     Hailing from Washington DC, Braddock Station Garrison’s seeds began when vocalist/guitarist Steve Schillinger and guitarist Tom Soha, who had known each other for years, started to jam together. Officially formed in 2011, the band was soon expanded with the addition of drummer Michael Chapman and original bassist Patrick, who left the band last December to be replaced by Jim Bledsoe. Taking influences from artists such as Tom Petty, Neil Young & Crazy Horse, Cheap Trick, Aerosmith, Johnny Cash, and The Smithereens, the band has evolved a sound which grabs attention whilst suggesting, certainly on the EP, that it is still a work in progress with greater potent things to come.

    High Water has its major highlights topping and tailing the release but in between offers an equally magnetic clutch of dark coveredged melodic enticements. Opener Into Your Arms is a dramatically infectious treat setting things off in immense style. From its first breath thumping muscle bound drum beats hypnotise the ear soon joined by a gloriously throaty bass lure making even greater bait for the imagination. Once the excellent expressive vocals of Schillinger cast a sultry lure over proceedings the track melts the passions and steals their allegiance. At this point the song reminds of the Orson Family track Heartbeat, evolving as flames of caustic guitar ignite the atmosphere alongside rasping riffs into a more Chris Issak seeded encounter with essences of Roy Orbison to its almost rockabilly lilted temptation. It is a masterful and virulently contagious stomp with a melodic acidity which brings garage rock rawness to its beauty.

     The impressive start provides a tall order for the following songs to complete and though for the main they run in the openers wake, all starting with A Lot to Ask offer a pleasing and accomplished endeavour to immerse in. The second song is a straight forward melodic rock stroll but with, vocally and musically, a distinctive enterprise to give it a unique if not ground-breaking character. Thoroughly enjoyable and deceptively infectious the song passes the ears over to Fall, which with a similarly cast blend of riffs and melodies continues the expressive pull of the EP. No aspect of the song stands out with striking brilliance but everything slots in and unites for a skilled and mature invention which treads existing paths with invigorating energy and enterprise.

    The following Maria With Child with a stronger country twang to its presence is the least persuasive song on the EP though there is little to dismiss about its melodic elegance and rhythmic convincing. There is certainly a close similarity to the song with the previous pair of tracks and if there is any sobering thought to temper the enthusiasm for the release it is that you wonder if they bring enough variety in their songs yet. As the pleasing guitar craft and quality shows backed by all other elements, skill and imagination is not lacking.

    California Specific gently coaxes in the listener with a singular guitar and vocal beckoning before expanding with a fuzz kissed blaze of sonic temptation and crisp rhythms which sculpts a smouldering rock pop contagion blending seventies psychedelic radiance with modern alternative rock adventure. Without ever exploding into the fire you expect, the track is a riveting and thrilling proposition which answers in some ways that question about bold variety to the band’s songs, a reminder immediately reaffirmed by the excellent closing track, Girl Gotta Gun. A scuzz fuelled garage rock built romp with garage punk bred abrasiveness and caustic guitar flaming, the track is different in every aspect to what came before but still fits effortlessly within the release and easily at home with the previous Americana coated songs.

   Without doubt the first and last songs are the pinnacles of the EP, and hopefully the direction that Braddock Station Garrison explore further but such the strength and appeal of the rest of High Water, you suspect only good and enthralling things will come from the band as they spring forward from this impressive start.

Get the High Water EP as a Buy now name your price download @ http://braddockstationgarrison.bandcamp.com/

https://www.facebook.com/BraddockStationGarrison

8/10

RingMaster 28/01/2014

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