Brick Briscoe: My Favourite Los Angeles Restaurant
Released on 21st January
Brick Briscoe is a remarkable and fascinating character, a man of many talents. “Brick Briscoe is a Songwriter/Composer, Performer, Filmmaker, Television Producer, Radio Producer, let’s face it, he’s a hyphenate.” Over recent years he has been through a personally tumultuous journey during which his highly fecund mind has created a significant body of work. “…in the past 18 months… He’s had cancer, scored and created sound design for two public radio documentaries, recorded two LPs, a half dozen singles, produced 60 hour long radio shows, travelled to France and produced and directed an hour long tv documentary about WWI, did a couple of commercials, oh and started a TV show.” The latest product of this highly creative streak is the exceptional piece of work that is My Favourite Los Angeles Restaurant.
As a music fan, I enjoy many genres of music. I understand that labelling a band or artist’s style or sound helps some people, and can be helpful in describing the music you are listening to but I generally don’t like label’s. Label’s can cloud my judgement or mar my potential enjoyment of the music. I don’t want a tag to hold me back. Thankfully, Brick Briscoe is one of those artists who is difficult to pigeonhole. Lets just say, he draws his influences from what he knows and blends them together in his own inimitable style. That means his influences aren’t all music related, as an unfulfilled actor, there are cinematic references and qualities to his music.
Top of the World
Take album opener, the dark angst of Cody Jarett, which takes its reference point as James Cagney’s character from the classic movie, White Heat, incorporating and paraphrasing the famous “Made it Ma, top of the world” quote. Brooding guitar and throbbing bass lines are supplemented by plaintive piano and accordion. An enigmatic opener.
From cinematic influences to musical comparisons. There is more than a passing resemblance to the vocal eccentricity of Wall of Voodoo’s Stan Ridgway on show throughout this album, especially on tracks like The Blue Jean Bridge. Tracks like Oxnard with its edgy full-blooded riffing also hint at influences from that post-punk era. Whereas Woke Up Next to You with is combination of strummed acoustic guitar and banjo have an altogether more country Americana feel.
Elsewhere, songs like title track, My Favourite Los Angeles Restaurant, as it layers and builds its various elements to dramatic effect, and also the spoken word of Crimey are cinematic in their scope and structure. Then there is the quiet unassuming beauty of What’s Your Name? With its yearning piano line and a sparse reverb heavy guitar buzz Brick creates an exquisitely disquieting sorrowful lament. Sparse arrangement is also used to great effect on the haunting melody of My Americana Lust. Brushed drums and plucked banjo are mixed with bleeps and blips before the track erupts into a squalling cacophony.
A dramatic and many textured selection of songs which take you on an intriguing journey. Not necessarily knowing where the destination is going to be but enjoying the thrill of the ride regardless.
Brick Briscoe – Bandcamp