When the pointy stick landed on Ether Song rather than The Optimist LP, the Brakes' debut, YourZ and I both experienced a twinge of regret. Not that Ether Song is a bad CD - it's gorgeous - but just that The Optimist LP is one of those albums that's entered into our consciousness and won't ever be expelled. It's as beautiful today as the day I first heard it. And I last listened to it last weekend.
Given all that, I guess the thing I most want to say is - why haven't Turin Brakes achieved massive world domination? Their deceptively simple melodies, note-perfect close harmonies, their swing from acoustic to electric and back - these guys are just as good as Crowded House ever were with possibly a touch more sophistication.
Pain Killer is the standout track on the CD but it's all just good. If you haven't heard of this band, take a look here. How good is that?
VERDICT: TURN IT UP
I can't believe it's been nearly 10 years since the release of Turin Brakes first album, The Optimist LP. That particular album has spent more time on our CD player than a lot of other albums combined. It's such a wonderful early morning after a rowdy late night record and there hasn't really been anything else that has come along to replace it.
Unfortunately, I'm not nearly as familiar with Ether Song as I am with the above. The songwriting is every bit as good, as are those wonderful Bowie-esque harmonies. This album is a little more electric than its predecessor but still sounds like Olly and Gale are sitting in the corner of my loungeroom, singing these songs live. It also has their biggest single to date in Pain Killer, a great modern folk-rock song and very reminiscent of their sound.
What this doesn't have, unfortunately, is the same connection to a time and place as The Optimist LP does. I'm sure this could be remedied, if it weren't for the fact I have so much music already. But I'll give it my best shot.
VERDICT: TURN IT UP
For more information: http://www.turinbrakes.com/
In our collection we also have The Optimist LP and Jackinabox