Words by Sean Moeller, Illustration by Johnnie Cluney, Sound engineering by Mike Gentry
Brass Bed front man Christiaan Mader sings that he doesn't believe in fate that comes at our leisure. If he were asked to expound on that line in the format of an essay, he would need to decline, for this Lafayette, Louisiana, band's debut full-length - "Melt White" -- does all of the expanding needed to understand the effects of fate and where such things might come from. Fate, as Mader states it, most regularly blindsides us and leads us into fits of confusion or delight - one most often accompanying the other for a time period. It comes when we're not thinking straight and when we haven't showered for a few days, wearing some ratty jeans and a holey tee-shirt. You have to accept fate this way, sometimes looking like a slob and sometimes as a non-sober person, distraught that you didn't see any of this coming. Brass Bed follow in a wonderfully long line of acts that the great people down there at Park The Van Records find milling about the Louisiana and Philadelphia music scenes - not to mention those in smallish Delaware, Arizona, North Carolina and more - writing and recording the kinds of down in the dirt, perfect kinds of pops songs, filled with endless hours of listening pleasure - for none of them are simple or easy to figure out. They are pop songs that are the equivalent of a Thursday or Friday New York Times crossword puzzle - complex, not too damned difficult, but utterly satisfying if you get right down into their chambers and you start messing around with them. Brass Bed brings these same kind of smarts and the same kinds of melodies that made us fall instantly in love with Dr. Dog, Generationals, Floating Action, Golden Boots, The Spinto Band, The Pharmacy and more. The band writes about standard pop themes of enjoying your days and fearing that the aging process will close in on them too soon - before they've done all that they want to do - only with gobs of that brilliance that we come to expect from a Park the Van band. We're sucked right into a dreamy atmosphere where each day is a present that those in these songs are grateful for. The overriding theme of these songs (a good example being the Big Easy-sounding "People Want To Be Happy") is keeping the gravediggers twiddling their thumbs, waiting for work, maybe or maybe not getting it. The songs on "Melt White" are figures that let us believe in something that's characteristic of what we'd imagine that fountain of youth that Ponce de Leon was searching for down in Florida sometime almost five centuries ago might have held. We seem to hear the bright yellow sunlight ripping through the blinds to awaken these people and yet, there's that dark-tinge to any of those happy moments - just as there would have been had de Leon found what he was looking for. These four young men make music that bears multiple reference points all over the 60s and 70s, the United States and the United Kingdom, crafting a sound that isn't just promising, but is already polished.
Brass Bed Official Site
Park The Van Records