Monday, September 6, 2010

Brahman - "A Long Time Coming, A Long Way Away" Album Review

Band: Brahman

Album: "A Long Time Coming, A Long Way Away"

Personnel: Sam Attaya - Bass
Tom Campbell - Vocals and Rhythm Guitar
Ethan Fortin - Lead Guitar
Will Matern - Drums

Released: 12 August 2010

Recorded by Travis Hagan at Starfish Audio Productions in Haverhill, Massachusetts.

Mastered by Nick Zampiello and Rob Gonnella at New Alliance East in Cambridge, Massachusetts.

Cover photo by Megan Kelley
Cover design by Dan Suder


In a time where everyone is trying to make the next dance floor filler and trying to sound like the next Passion Pit, there are still bands who are trying to make music for those times when you just want to space out and feel something. Brahman have recently released what appears to be their first full-length album entitled "A Long Time Coming, A Long Way Away."

This album immediately reminded me of early Sunny Day Real Estate and Mineral, "Emo" bands that had substance and tried to create atmosphere and mood with their instruments and effect pedals. The album's lead-off track called "Bourbon" starts with wailing feedback and fuzzed-out guitars over a rolling punchy drum beat that clears up to sparkling guitar picking - and in come the vocals, "You might never know the truth at least you will come close." Hey, wait, these guys might actually have something interesting to say. Later in the song this phrase is sung: " With the smell of bourbon on your breath that she seems to ignore, you're forgetting those old dreams you had before."

Storytelling has always been a part of rock n roll. Vague or direct, people usually enjoy hearing something they can relate to. Brahman do a good job of mixing lyrical stories with complex rhythms and instrumentation.

In "All Things Come to an End" Tom Cambell sings, "Oh fate's a funny thing." It sure is! He seems to be dealing with break up and deciding whether to leave or stay in a relationship, but the decision isn't really in his hands. Some songs are as vague as the titles they bear. "Skinny Blondes in Skinny Jeans" and "Why I Punch Holes in Walls" have lyrics that are somewhat hard to decipher and so I was left just making up my own conclusions as to what they were actually about.

The electric guitar playing on the album is fluid and well executed. The vocals are clear and sweet at times and other times they are screeching howls that seem about to break at any moment, but don't. Throughout the album the drums and bass work in sync to hold the band together.

My only critique of this album would be that Brahman doesn't bring anything too new to the table. They didn't really push to be too different from others in this genre. Maybe on their next effort they will push the edge a little more and leave themselves to experimentation.

This kind of album would make any indie band famous back in 1995-2000, and hopefully it can still do the same in 2010.

My favorite track on the album is "By the River," a nice acoustic song that features Campbell's voice. He sings "It seems strange sitting by the river where I always used to play/ I came here with my father on every rainy day/ I'd pretend I was someone else I was speaking only in clichés" as sounds of storms and memories quietly roar under picked guitar strings.

This does not come off as fake or ungenuine. Some bands don't know how to escape the clichés that are so easily accepted and found when people try to make music. It may have been a long time coming for Brahman, but they aren't a long way away anymore. They are much, much closer. - A. Polk

Rating Key
1 POLK- Don’t Bother
2 POLKs- Give it a listen or two
3 POLKs - Make part of your daily routine
4 POLKs - Must Own, Buy, Illegally Download NOW!
5 POLKs - Don’t tell anyone about it (it’s your personal treasure)

Wednesday, September 1, 2010


Polk Records is putting on a dance night every first Thursday of the Month! Hear the best dance music ever created by human hands and also get to see a live band or two!

Check out the Flyer!

Dance, Dance, Dance welcomes two bands in September at the Tavern at the end of the World

The New Highway Hymnal


Mudflap Junior Jones

New Order, Arcade Fire, Kid n Play and Prince will be played!

See you tomorrow!!!

This month