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Bracket - Requiem (Cover Artwork)

Bracket

Bracket: RequiemRequiem (2006)
Takeover Records

Reviewer Rating: 4
User Rating:


Contributed by: AnchorsAnchors
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After close to 15 years of being a band, Bracket has finally made the record they truly always wanted to make. Always letting the tinges of pop permeate to the surface of their playful punk tunes, now with Requiem, the California quartet has firmly embraced that side of their music, and let it take .
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After close to 15 years of being a band, Bracket has finally made the record they truly always wanted to make. Always letting the tinges of pop permeate to the surface of their playful punk tunes, now with Requiem, the California quartet has firmly embraced that side of their music, and let it take over the creative process in a manner not before seen on their records.

You see, Bracket likes the Beach Boys. A lot. Those falsettos and multi-part vocal harmonies that were responsible for such hits as "Wouldn't It Be Nice" and "Sloop John B" are heavily incorporated into this album. The songs are not copies or retreads, however, just products of heavy influence from one of the greatest bands of all time. No harm in that. At the core, Bracket still remain a punk band, true to their roots. The riffs still have a fair amount of bite and the lyrics still deal with inner turmoil, as well as the pop-punk standard of relationships gone awry.

The lyrics aren't really the charm here, though, it's the vocals. They're positively infectious. Not in the usual pop-punk sort of way, however, but just in how well the members of this band can make all of their vocals sound together. There's plenty of variety, too, not only in vocals, but just the entire presentation. "Warren's Song Pt. 26" (every song is titled 'Warren's Song Pt.' and then an arbitrary, out of order number) is a whimsical blast right out of 1966. Vocalist Marty Gregori's voice has that timeless sound no matter the speed or power of the music behind him. Four-chord punk, violins, or lazy surf rock guitar, the entire picture is painted beautifully each and every time. "Warren's Song Pt. 18" shows the band speeding up a bit and really letting the chord progressions speak for them.

What's more is how well they're able to transfer between styles as the album progresses.

It's extremely fluid, and hell, it has to be for this record. Seventeen songs, fifty minutes, they have to be able to entirely grab your attention or listening to the record is going to be a chore. Luckily, not an issue. There's enough of a balance and enough sense of cohesiveness to allow Requiem to be an absolutely perfect summer soundtrack. It's refreshing to see a band that after so long, has finally found themselves comfortable in their own shoes, comfortable enough to let their influences shine through without compromising the integrity of their own unique sound.

Some bands waste no time, and make their best record right away, leaving none of their talents or surprises to the imagination. Bracket are more akin to a good rum. Sure, it's rum, and it'll taste alright regardless, but give it 15 years to age in that oak barrel, and once it's finally released, you'll be extremely glad you had the patience to wait.

 

 
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Fine Print: The following comments are owned by whoever posted them. We are not respon sible for them in any way. Seriously.
kylewagoner (January 16, 2009)

Bracket is, how do you say...fucking amazing? This album is their first to really show that. I mean, yeah, they've always had some songs I adore ("Evil Bean," "Trailer Park," "Happy Song") but this album is fucking solid as...umm...a pigeon's dick.

eyvert (December 6, 2006)

this must be the first 50 min record i ever have bothered to listen to the whole thing. over and ooooover again! great album indeed

henrikmain (June 24, 2006)

A simply excellent record, rock solid all the way through. Good review.

SlowStupidHungry (June 23, 2006)

The problem with your "dutch boy" comment is that I'm not in any special circumstance to blow the whistle. All I know is what most Americans should know about the corrupt government. If they don't pay attention, fuck'em. I can't really waste my time trying to save people from their own stupidity. It gets to the point where you realize it's useless.

I'd say it's more like I'm in the town where the dam's about to break and nobody notices or is apathetic towards the hole. So I am packing up and leaving for a while.

Scruffy (June 23, 2006)

None of us think any good can come out of it. But not voting would be like the little Dutch boy walking by, seeing the hole in the dam, and just shrugging and walking on. The issue is not how much good can come out of it, but how much bad. Not voting won't bring about a better system. It will mean the system will get worse.
And, I want to apologize if the age thing sounded like a low blow. I just brought it up to point out that it's easy to say you shouldn't vote when you don't yet have the responsibility of voting to worry about.
The biggest issue is not how different Kerry is as a person. The issue is that Kerry wouldn't have nominated justices to create a Supreme Court that will outlaw abortion, and the act of the American people voting out Bush would have greatly improved our diplomatic image in the global community. Sure, all politicians are pretty similar, but, this time, there was a difference.

SlowStupidHungry (June 23, 2006)

Hahaha. You mean to think that I'm somehow popular or something in my community to the point where I think I'm a "big fish?"

And no, I don't believe in doing nothing. I volunteer at the local infoshop, have flyered for events, helped put on the local free market (which was basically giving clothes to local poor folks), and have done Food Not Bombs before. That sounds like some poor attempt to brag, but it's not. I'm merely clearing up that unlike so many other supposed anarchists, I'm not a totally self-involved asshole.

On the other hand, if you were criticsizing me for not participating in the American political process, I feel sorry for you, because it's been so corrupted that you'd have to be nuts to think that any good's ever going to come out of it. Back when I fooled myself into believing it could make a difference (strangely enough, before I could vote), everything was one big compromise. I had to swallow the fact that I was endorsing a monster who had a slightly more benign agenda. Democrats have a big recent history of being into censorship and waging useless "drug wars."

Anonymous (June 23, 2006)

So Will's political philosophy is:
A. Do nothing
B. But be smug about it.

Dress that up in some overblown rhetoric and you have . . . nothing!

Enjoy college. I wish I could be there to see the look on your face when you realize you were never a big fish.

SlowStupidHungry (June 23, 2006)

Wow, as if I didn't see the obligatory ageist comment coming from a mile away.

As if I'm not 18 and moving out in August for college (can't in July because I'm touring with a band). Seriously, if you want to attack my ideas, try a little harder. Not that I don't know a lot of kids who are 17 who are smarter than the jackass nerds who sit around on this messageboard pretending to know what they're talking about.

You just represent the total loss of most people. I'm not out in the street trying to cause a revolution (even if there was an armed revolution, I don't think anything good would come of it- just another bankrupt, totalitarian government). I don't think the moral development that true anarchism calls for can be implemented thru mass force working to "destroy the system," but thru individually dropping out of it and not participating. I don't dream of getting revenge. Vengeance against corporatization and patriarchy is no ideal, it's not even a true step towards real anarchy.

Democracy has no meaning in a country where the process can be bought and sold. You tell me I have to vote to make sure weak-kneed corporate socialism (ie: a fucking fraud) gets into "office" instead of "war mongers." Even participating in this process would be degrading myself. It is a form of repression and a sign that a country is completely fucked when most of its citizens when can only participate in politics to an extent of "compromise." Nobody dreams of "the better." They want the best, and the party line can't deliver it. I have more right to complain about Bush than any dumbass who thought Kerry would have made a difference.

This "Bush is singularly the worst ever" philosophy screams of the Goldenburg Principle- Let's pretend that some politicians are evil on a level where their deeds could NEVER happen again. It lowers standards all around and usually makes it easier for history to repeat itself. I'm not going to give King George special privliges. He is just another reflection of the American System's apathy, stupidity, and greed.

Scruffy (June 22, 2006)

I think the thing you're all forgetting is the context in which Rock Against Bush happened. It doesn't mean Fat Mike is all pro-Democrat, though he might be. It was just, in the 2004 election, Kerry was the only real hope we had of getting rid of Bush. Despite the supposed truthfulness of the "Repbulicans and Democrats are the same!" (and that's not true. Talk to any real democrat and then talk to my parents, and there's a HUGE difference), the 2004 election was about preventing Bush, Cheney and Rove from controlling the executive branch for another four years. It was about improving our global image. It was about putting someone in who, despite their other beliefs, would work to actually pull us out of the Middle East at the earliest viable moment. Any other election, I would agree with the "Screw the two party system" bit at least a little. But by saying it doesn't matter either way in '04, and not voting, or voting for some pie-in-the-sky-chance-of-winning third party candidate, you effectively lose any ability you have to complain about Bush, as you're basically saying he's no worse than Clinton or anyone before him. You can complain about the current political state, and politicians in general, but by not voting, you're, in effect, saying that BUsh is just another politician, and ignoring the fact that getting the democracy-subverting, megalomaniacal, rights-destroying, regime-building Bush presidency out of the way is far more important than making a statement with your vote or lack thereof. When gay marriages are unconstitutional and abortion is only attainable in 10 states, I hope all of you people that didn't vote or voted for a third party will be proud of the "stand" you took.

And, Will, you may have read more books on anarchy than I have, but you're still 17. I'm sorry. I was 17 once. 17 year olds, save for maybe 10 across the whole country, know jack about politics and the way things really work in the real world. It's nice to be able to say the things you're saying when the responisibility of casting a vote was not hanging over your head.

Ozzie_Guillen (June 22, 2006)

Hey, stop arguing over who's better, Bush or Kerry. Both want to ban gay marriages. Can you ask for anything more?

Anonymous (June 22, 2006)

Yeah! Rock the Vote! Reinforce your views of Bush while pretending that Kerry would be any better at all! REVOLUTION!

Mute98 (June 22, 2006)

oh btw love equals death rules as well.. both bands are great

Anonymous (June 22, 2006)

Uh... Wow, nice try, but once again you're proving that you've never even read about anarchy or what it means. It's about a whole lot more than fucking dumpster diving.

Not to mention, Kerry was in cahoots with all of those medical companies and would fucked over as many Americans as Bush. But yeah. RoCk TeH vOtE 4or KeRrY cuz Fat Mike is the punx!

Anonymous (June 22, 2006)

you can't dumpster dive medical insurance.

wyzo

Anonymous (June 22, 2006)

Uh... Anarchy is a much more logical/optimistic philosophy than supporting the supposed "lesser of two evils." Working through the system, I believe can be done, but what Fat Mike was doing screamed of compromise. John Kerry and the demoncrats are just as fucking evil as the scumbags running the country, just with less frightening agendas. That's not incredibly hopeful. Telling countless mallpunk kids to "rock the vote" instead of helping them form actual alternative ideas was disgusting.

Wait, that's right, you've never read any literature or anything and assume that "anarchy" means chaos.

-William Marinovic

sickboi (June 22, 2006)

Mike still supports change through government, instead of smashing the whole damn system

Hahahaha. Seriously. Anarchy d00d.

Not-To-Regret (June 22, 2006)

Fat Mike hosted the Rock Against Bush Tour... which was basically a discrete way of asking people to vote for John Kerry, I admire Fat Mike's action on that front, but like propagandhi says Mike still supports change through government, instead of smashing the whole damn system. Which in the end is a complacent point of view to believe that the democractic party would actually do something positive. They do terrible things, just like the republicans, but they're smarter and better at covering these things up under the guise of something positive. That is my spin on the whole situation. Spin your own if you think i'm wrong.

Sick cover art Bracket! I had never looked to closely.

inagreendase (June 22, 2006)

And any lable that contributes to the fucking John Kerry campaign is lame as hell.

I don't believe they ever contributed to Kerry's campaign. Source?

feeeding5000 (June 22, 2006)

And Will, you need to start a blog. Hell, start a zine.

feeeding5000 (June 22, 2006)

Speaking of Fat sucking, I've heard that "[Fat Mike] is an idiot, one of the most money-hungry people I've ever met." See, Mike, that's what happens when you piss off people at PE. And believe me, PE knows how to get the truth out: fold-out posters of black and white collage art, depicting Fat Mike standing on a mound of skulls.

Anonymous (June 21, 2006)

"Fat is a business first, and putting out a record from a band who doesn't tour is pointless."

yeah, like screeching weasel. Maybe Ben fibbed to fat mike and got those two records released, then decided to never fully tour again.

Touring's for sucks. Label's make plenty of money, fat mike is doing fine, he's been on a permanent vacation for the last 2 decades, let me find some tears for him somewhere in my laser excised tear ducts.

However, i'm sure half the bands fat has put out have been financial douchebags with ridiculous riders and per diems. Being in bands is like a preisthood.

wyzo

homie (June 21, 2006)

Bracket is a great pop band. Its hard to beat their harmonies. I thought their Caroline releases were much better than anything on Fat. And they played their hearts out when I saw them open for SNFU.

Anyone know what happened to the country-ish record they did that got rejected by Caroline or Fat (I can't remember exactly when it happened)?

Scruffy (June 21, 2006)

Hey, Cool To Be You was a sweet record.

Anonymous (June 21, 2006)

I loved 4-Wheel Vibe but found Forestville... a bit boring. What should I go for next?

TahoeJeff (June 21, 2006)

Perhaps I need to listen to this album more, but it didnt get me hooked the 1st time through. Not that it was bad, but I need to give it a few more listens.

Its kind of surprising , the stuff that Fat has rejected. For example, Inspection 12's "Get Rad", in my opinion was amazing and Fat never put it out. Sure it was officially Honest Don's, but its all really the same isnt it? Funny how both Bracket and I12 put out their rejected albums on Takeover.

branden (June 21, 2006)

"You'll never even recoup recording costs."

recording was free. they made their own studio, dude.

GlassPipeMurder (June 21, 2006)

Bracket's always made interesting music.

SlowStupidHungry (June 21, 2006)

"Fat is a business first"

I can't wait for people on this site to dismiss me as "crusty" or whatever just because I think that a punk lable that releases records to make money rather than make music they personally like available is a horrible, horrible thing. Not that I know Fat really liked this, but let's face it- they had to like this better than fucking Love Equals Death. And any lable that contributes to the fucking John Kerry campaign is lame as hell.

maverick (June 21, 2006)

"Fat released Cool to be You, and when was the last time the Descendents went on tour."

Touche. But I'm sure an exception was made because A)the band are virtually legends in the punk scene and have a built-in fanbase in the tens of thousands (presumably) that will buy their records no matter what and B)they're Fat Mike's favorite band.

-Scott

Anonymous (June 20, 2006)

yeah, but the descendents are already a huge name and will sell big numbers no matter what, even if that album was a big dissapointment.

Anonymous (June 20, 2006)

"Fat is a business first, and putting out a record from a band who doesn't tour is pointless. You'll never even recoup recording costs."

Fat released Cool to be You, and when was the last time the Descendents went on tour.

maverick (June 20, 2006)

Fat is a business first, and putting out a record from a band who doesn't tour is pointless. You'll never even recoup recording costs.

Besides, this band's terrible.

Funny story: I got a copy of this in the mail months and months ago, and after letting it sit on my desk for a few days, I decided to suck it up and at least play it once to make sure I hated it. So I opened the case.

And found no CD inside.

Thank you, Takeover Records publicist, for somehow forgetting to include a CD inside the CD case! That was the best gift I ever could've asked for.

-Scott

branden (June 20, 2006)

while the numbers arent arbitrary, they are out of order on the disc. its parts 10 - 26, while 1 - 9 are throughout the previous albums. they named them as they wrote them and then, they did the sequencing, keeping the original titles

Anonymous (June 20, 2006)

Maybe Bracket really wanted to make a number of their previous albums.

Anonymous (June 20, 2006)

"yeah fat rejected it.. i dont know why its ALOT better than their last one (its all i know from them) and its one of the best cds of 06.. extremely underrated"

It must not have had the integrity or lasting quality of something like Love Equals Death.

Anonymous (June 20, 2006)

"(every song is titled 'Warren’s Song Pt.' and then an arbitrary, out of order number)"

They go in order, and happen to up to that # by this album. Warren's songs are everywhere in old releases, its not arbitrary or out of order.

A little research, and cavemen wouldn't be insulted by car insurance companies.

wyzo

Anonymous (June 20, 2006)

I was pretty bummed when I read in a Bracket interview that Fat rejected this album because I thought they were one of those labels that stuck by their bands.

baseball (June 20, 2006)

still only heard about half of this, but what i've heard was different and cool

always liked the vocals

MikeStupid (June 20, 2006)

Where did you hear they were skeptical about Greatest Story?

david_arquette (June 20, 2006)

I didn't know they "rejected" albums. I know they were skeptical when The Greatest Story Ever Told was sent to them, but I didn't know they'd actually reject an album.

Mute98 (June 20, 2006)

yeah fat rejected it.. i dont know why its ALOT better than their last one (its all i know from them) and its one of the best cds of 06.. extremely underrated

MrStylson (June 20, 2006)

Didn't Fat Wreck reject this album?

branden (June 20, 2006)

great review, glad to see bracket get some positive fare for once. definitely my favorite for the year

Anonymous (June 20, 2006)

All that's missing is a positive album review of The Break.

Ramo

MikeStupid (June 20, 2006)

I haven't heard anything off of this album yet, but I've been meaning to pick it up. Bracket's old stuff was sweet.

Scruffy (June 20, 2006)

It's pretty good. Nothing I've heard from them is as good as the song off Short Music or "Everyone Is Telling Me I'll Never Win, If I Fall In Love With A Girl From Marin". But I like this album. It's about time someone reviewed it, but I can see why it took so long. I didn't do it because I didn't think I could do the album justice. It's not quite my thing, but I can tell it's sweet. It deserved a review from someone who "got" it.
Oddly enough, it's the Beach Boys parts that are my favcorites, though.

TheNightProwler (June 20, 2006)

I've heard nothing but good things about this album and I have still yet to purchase it.

I'm going to try and change that the next time I visit a record store.

inagreendase (June 20, 2006)

Scott Heisel just had an aneurysm.

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