Simon Brawl, The Tennessee EP

[This review originally appeared in All the Rage.]

Simon Brawl
The Tennessee EP
(Rack ‘Em Up Records)

On one hand, Murfreesboro bruisers, Simon Brawl, have captured their sound in the perfect recording style. In Head for the Mountains, the guitars are twangy and raw. The bass is trebly and live. The drums are noisy as hell. Garson Combs’s voice is desperate and kind of crazed. The song itself is half chunky garage rock and half psychedelic Southern rock. Where all these elements combine in the other songs, you’ll find great, meaty rock ‘n’ roll.

Hollywood succeeds in the same way. The raw recording complements the song’s brutal kiss-off to a lover. Its frantic vocal is more ragged than the guitars.

On the other hand, sometimes songs suffer from the naked recording style. Stungun is unable to keep from running over itself. Its messy form doesn’t lend itself to the messy recording. My Guns For Yours complicates matters with an abundance of tempo and rhythm changes. Though this isn’t the recording’s fault, it doesn’t help.

Thankfully, Rock ‘N’ Roll Pussy, which closes the record, brings back the grimy swagger and pomp that the opener promised.

Ultimately, this EP is brash and brave and suits Simon Brawl’s rancorous songs. Where the quality begins to drag, the listener won’t have to wait long for the next clanging assault on his eardrums.