Thursday, July 11, 2013

Bradley Dean & The Terminals on Tone Town Records

I don't know if its any kind of thought out, collective movement to shake a stick at, but this self released single from Bradley Dean & The Terminals reminds me of moments from Nude Beach and their blue collar, no frills rock and roll that's paid dues in local bars. Is it the tip of the spear that something different than the fuzzy garage is just around the corner? Or just a few bands not concerned with any sort of trendy sound and the latest gadgets making an honest track or two.

"Top of the Hour" explodes into a loose country feel of that straightforward four piece, Bradley is up front with the vocal, the whole thing coming off crisp and steady. Backing vocal ooo's but staying in the dirty dive. Bradley's singing "See me in the news / at the top of the hour". I bet it's not because he did something good. A bluesy jangly pop with an acoustic always present under the whole formal rock arrangement. Slightly less epic Springsteen sound at times, but that could be that steel town ethic, if they started 20 years earlier in a college town like Chapel Hill. Not dangerous or drunken or starting fights, just getting up and going to work on another rock and roll single.

"Everybody's Headed to the Graveyeard" has a bit of jagged Clash guitar at the beginning, a similar combination of punk with classier elements like their whammy bar warble. This one goes back to high school, cutting class and going to the graveyard with a Stray Cats greaser 50s influenced sound. Could even be slightly surf here, related to an old Jan and Dean (coincidence?) track about driving the death curve. Everyone comes in on this chorus, right before the open road distortion solo. The whole thing drops out so Bradley's vocal ends up in the center of the mix, going from a talky nonchalant style to a working the melody with that title lyric. Clean and precise these guys set out for that solid bar rock and roll that isn't reaching for a new trend, and in just being comfortable with existing for themselves you get the most honest stuff of all.

Bradley and I share the same last (and pretty common) name, but we might be related. Get this one form the band direct.

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