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Tom Brosseau - Grass Punks (Album Review)

Monday, 27 January 2014 Written by Heather McDaid

Tom Brosseau has been on the sidelines for a while. ‘Grass Punks’ is his first solo record in five years and as such will serve as a handy introduction for some into his world of acoustic folk.

From the off, Brosseau deals in stripped back acoustic guitars and his vocals. That's it. But, he’s able to channel modern ideas through this classic framework. Cradle Your Device deals with the oddly modern issue of physical interaction being impaired by technology - it's a quirky lament about being replaced by the titular device.

Tami features more complex accompaniment, and offers several delights for guitar fans to get their heads around, while Love High John The Conqueror Root continues in a similar vein as Brosseau invokes folk magic over intricate, dancing notes.

At the other end of the scale, Green Shampoo hits a peak of simplicity as Brosseau dials down to a single, plaintive guitar and it is here that we see the real lure of ‘Grass Punks’. The key is Brosseau’s ability to use this one instrument in an intriguing fashion, even if there are times when a few extra hooks wouldn’t go amiss.

Give the full record a spin and a lot of songs blend into one another, preventing it from taking the next step into being something truly special. There are some great moments on ‘Grass Punks’, but it just lacks a spark.

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