Review: Bracket

“Live In A Dive”
(Fat Wreck Chords)

Bracket is a strange phenomenon. They’re a little bit country and a little bit rock and pop-punk. 1994 saw the release of their debut CD, “924 Forestville St,” on Caroline, then another, “4 Wheel Vibe,” in 1995. Those are now out of print. Then came the jump to Fat Wreck, all the while playing incredibly catchy songs about practically nothing.  And it’s all extremely good, even if Marty Gregori’s vocals are a bit nasally.  It’s what makes it memorable and enjoyable, kind of like your friend in high school who was more of a nerd than you, but you were really good friends anyway.  Eight years and six full lengths later we have some new Bracket.  But a live CD?  Well, just so you know, Fat Wreck can make anything sound incredible. I was certain I didn’t need to hear a live pop punk CD, but this is absolutely perfect. This is no typical mix from the house board, this is a mobile 24 track recording studio with the same quality of equipment the band would use to record in an actual studio. My only complaint is that it sounds too good–shows never sound this crisp.  As for the music, Bracket packs energy into every second of their music, with thick guitars and popping drums with cymbals that sound as if they were being played dead center between your ears and party rock riffs and vocal harmonies they should teach in pop-punk college. And the backups are velvety-smooth with Marty’s signature vocals leading the band onto hook-pop stardom. I know Bracket isn’t the most popular band in the Fat stable, but this is some infectious shit.  This is so good, I recommend it for everyone.