steering clear of the mainstream
since 2001

june 2010

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info opinion

Brief Candles

Self-titled CD

Silent Film Soundtracks

Genres: shoegazer, dream pop, indie rock

Brief Candles
PO Box 10641
Peoria IL 60641

May 24 - 30 2004

Though they do sing, much of Brief Candles' focus is not on vocals. Like many shoegazer acts, they direct most of their attention to the guitars, which are modified by heavy use of effects and feedback. Their compositional style is heavily influenced by the usual suspects - My Bloody Valentine, Jesus and Mary Chain, etc. - but they utilize a considerably more modern approach.

The best songs on this self-titled debut are those that take a more melodic approach - "On Sunday" and "All My Gates" are both beautiful indie rock tunes, floating in feedback haze and brimming in monumental, lyric-based melodies. Although there is better, similar shoegazer out there, Brief Candles make for a strong diversion nonetheless. However, "Bernadette," a bland, instrumental opener, will wear down on the disc's ability to sustain most listeners' attention spans and get into the record - I think this disc would work better without an intro. The stunning finale makes up for this, fortunately; "Castaway" is the disc's penultimate track - its combination of pop sensitivity and explosive guitar theatrics is truly incredible.

This isn't a spectacular debut, but it is still a very solid disc of blissed-out, spacey rock music. Brief Candles make for the perfect treat, so long as you aren't allergic to heavy use of guitar effects.


Matt Shimmer

[Vitals: 7 tracks, distributed by the label, released 2003]