Brenda makes classic, American indie rock - and they do it well. The Portland Maine band caught a huge break when Jeff Tweedy took a liking to their still yet-to-be-released debut record, Silver Tower, landing them a spot on the bill for the Wilco-curated Solid Sound Festival. After spending a few days with the record, I know what Tweedy sees in these guys.
Silver Tower owes a heavy debt to 90s indie rock. Packed with guitar hooks, bouncy bass lines and major-chord progressions, it's obvious that these guys have worn out their Pavement and Guided By Voices records. But, that's just one of many influences at play here - there are also hints of folk-rock, power-pop, and 60s pop melodies. Ghandi and Intro (the curiously named fifth track) are soaring anthems that wouldn't sound out of place on a Band of Horses record. Pill Hill starts with a frenetic guitar and hi-hat attack before suddenly changing into a meandering, mellow jam. Across The Bay is a swaggering slow burn that breaks down, finds a tight groove and then builds to a distorted, discordant finish. It's this build and release that makes Silver Tower so dynamic and so interesting - just when the band settles into a groove they shake things up and take a new direction. Despite the laid-back vibe, the band is tight and musicianship is fantastic.
There's a lot to like on Silver Tower; you will probably hear pieces of a lot of your favorite bands in these songs, yet they still sound fresh and new. This is elemental indie rock, music for record junkies - my kind of music. Highly recommended.
The first two tracks off Silver Tower are available for stream and download below, along with a great video for Blackout: