I remember Bracket from the mid-nineties heyday of Fat Wreck productivity and it felt that barely a week would pass by without them putting out a new album, or single, or “live in a dive” record. Doing a spot of research I was surprised to see they also released a bunch of records through Caroline records back way back when, so for anyone hearing Bracket for the first time via this release, you have a huge back catalogue to dip into and keep you bopping for a long time.
The new record picks up exactly where you would hope it would as they pound out one pop-punk hit after another. Pop-punk generally makes you think of summer sun, of Blink 182, happy tunes for lounging about, but as with all genres it is much more than that. If you can remember some bands like Crimpshrine or J-Church, or if you need some more obvious points of reference then try Jawbreaker, Alkaline Trio or Descendents. What those bands had in common was that their sound is/ was highly melodic, but not necessarily upbeat and perhaps more introspective rather that being the out and out party. Likewise Bracket throw a lot of minor chords and melancholic harmonies into their particular blend and for me that works well and gives the songs considerable depth, if not length, as none of the eleven blissfully melancholic songs even reach the three-minute mark., Ladies and gentlemen the Summer starts here. Tom Chapman