After playing both drums and guitar in some of the most influential bands of the '90s (Codeine and Come, as well as the Steve Wynn band, The Willard Grant Conspiracy, Pullman, and The New Year), Chris Brokaw now makes his solo debut on a split ep co-released with Acuarela Records that also features Spain's Viva Las Vegas. "Bricks," a tour-de-force clocking in at less than four minutes, is the dire tale of one man's dark journey splendidly delivered by Brokaw's artless vocals and Crazy Horse guitars, with assistance on the bittersweet "li-da-di" chorus courtesy of longtime collaborator Thalia Zedek. "La Playa" is a ruminative Fahey-ish instrumental that grows lovelier with every listen.
Viva las Vegas is the band formed by José Luis Aguado and Frank Rudow, singer and percussionist respectively of Manta Ray, one of Spain's most inspired and critically acclaimed independent bands. There's plenty of post-something (see Royal Trux, Come, Sunny Day Real Estate, or Modest Mouse) here, with a feel that's noticeably European a la Mr. Gainsbourg. But in spite of its conceptually brainy origins, this is truly music that touches the heart.
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