Punknews.org
Brazil - The Philosophy of Velocity (Cover Artwork)

Brazil

Brazil: The Philosophy of VelocityThe Philosophy of Velocity (2006)
Immortal Records

Reviewer Rating: 3


Contributed by: InaGreendaseBrian
(others by this writer | submit your own)

Brazil inflicted themselves with both a blessing and a curse by sounding so much like At the Drive-In with their first 2 releases, 2002's Dasein EP and 2004's A Hostage and the Meaning of Life. While aping one of if not the most revered post-hardcore bands of the late `90s, the band wasn't leaving m.
Amazon


Brazil inflicted themselves with both a blessing and a curse by sounding so much like At the Drive-In with their first 2 releases, 2002's Dasein EP and 2004's A Hostage and the Meaning of Life. While aping one of if not the most revered post-hardcore bands of the late `90s, the band wasn't leaving much to the imagination, save for an often piano-dependent base that even then often likened them to that of ATDI's "Hourglass."

This could be why it's slightly amusing that Brazil's newest release seems to take a noticeable influence from an ATDI-related outfit: the Mars Volta. Departing from the label that once held ATDI themselves, the band's Immortal debut in The Philosophy of Velocity adds a gluttonous amount of progressive elements. To Brazil's credit, however, this doesn't necessarily mean they resort to self-indulgent, 10-minute jam sessions and needless classic rock prose (though their one Queen-referencing moment is pulled off interestingly). Instead, their offering provides swirling, spacey and layered guitars with grandiose keyboards on various settings. Tracks like "You Never Know" put frontman Jonathan Newby's high-pitched voice (honestly, similar to that of Cedric Bixler-Zavala's on any of the Volta's albums) with a mesh of instruments like such. "Candles (Cast Long Shadows)" further layers sounds, noise, and instruments, with dramatic piano-key strokes and plings of xylophone.

This is where producer Dave Fridmann's unique texture comes into play -- he buries Newby's voice in the mix slightly and adds an otherworldly effect to his already dizzying, high pitch while adding his own signature, strange tint to the overall focus of the sound like he has with his Flaming Lips albums and the recent Thursday effort. The only terms that would best describe it would be that of jargon often used at the site of the Hubble Space Telescope and NASA's control center.

The one aforementioned Queen reference does merit further mention, however. In the obviously tribute-like titled (and 6-minute-plus) "Au, Revoir, Mr. Mercury," Newby manages to replicate both Freddy Mercury's tone and the flawless rise in pitch Mercury made famous -- abrupt vocal melodies puncture the song precisely in its last 2 and a half minutes, with a moment-long round providing a familiar climax.

Once again, Brazil has made a record showing their influences terribly obvious, but no less made a bad record. Not only is there bound to be more than a handful of plain/boring moments in 48 minutes of prog/space rock, but it just seems like the band's ambition is inspired solely by others'; once they find their own, a great, original record could be their own.

STREAM
Crime (and the Antique Solution)
Candles (Cast Long Shadows)

 

 
People who liked this also liked:
The Vandals - Oi to the World!Career Suicide - Anthology of Releases: 2001-2003Foo Fighters - Foo FightersSwingin' Utters - Hatest Grits: B-Sides and BullshitUseless ID - The Lost Broken BonesNo Fun at All - Low RiderSatanic Surfers - Taste The PoisonThe Clash - Live at Shea StadiumLords - Fuck All Y'All MotherfuckersSatanic Surfers - Going Nowhere Fast

Please login or register to post comments.What are the benefits of having a Punknews.org account?
  • Share your opinion by posting comments on the stories that interest you
  • Rate music and bands and help shape the weekly top ten
  • Let Punknews.org use your ratings to help you find bands and albums you might like
  • Customize features on the site to get the news the way you want.
Fine Print: The following comments are owned by whoever posted them. We are not respon sible for them in any way. Seriously.
GlassPipeMurder (February 11, 2007)

this is ok but pretty crappy compared to Dasein and A Hostage and the Meaning of Life

Anonymous (October 8, 2006)

amputechture - the mars volta
vs.
Philosophy of Velocity - Brazil

these albums are drastically different. both good. both have a high-pitched singer. (nobody's making comparisons to sting. his voice was high.)
it's weird. i can hear the similarities when brazil's earlier stuff is compared to TMV's earlier stuff, but they're not the same. and after each band's recent releases, the differences are accentuated. plus, if you ask jonathon newby if he listens to cedric, he'll honestly tell you that he didn't until after he was already singing. and i think he probably listened mostly to see what everybody was comparing him to.
let's assume that i look like gary busey. just a little bit. just enough that if you saw me from more than 75 feet away and i was not looking directly at you, you might think "is that gary busey?" so is that my fault? will you expect me to need rehab and make some cheesy films?
just pretend that newby didn't listen to ATDI or TMV. can the guy get a break?

Anonymous (October 6, 2006)

does this site like anything? all of the reviews are just calling everything shit. you guys make the internet suck. Brazil is good. piss off

Kursk (October 5, 2006)

I really liked both of ther first releases but I haven't heard ANY of this so I can't really make a statement. But I had no idea this band was big enough to sign to Immortal, hmmm....I kind of disagree though, sure this band definitely has the ATDI influence, but songs like "Io" off their last album are their's and their's alone. The score is for the band.

inagreendase (October 4, 2006)

claiming that they draw influence from The Mars Volta betrays your deplorable ignorance of rock history.

This statement would lead the reader to believe Brazil is a part of your "rock history." Try again.

coldwaffles (October 4, 2006)

"Uhh, this band might be mediocre, but claiming that they draw influence from The Mars Volta betrays your deplorable ignorance of rock history. Rush, maybe. Yes would have been a major stretch, as would have been King Crimson, but still excusable. But The Mars Volta? Seriously, why pretend to know more than you don't? Just write the fucking review and save us the ignorant spouting off. This isn't your myspace page. Thanks"

Funny, because you're spouting off equally stupid opinions...

Anonymous (October 4, 2006)

the country Brazil is also the world's leading exporter of big butts

Anonymous (October 4, 2006)

Uhh, this band might be mediocre, but claiming that they draw influence from The Mars Volta betrays your deplorable ignorance of rock history. Rush, maybe. Yes would have been a major stretch, as would have been King Crimson, but still excusable. But The Mars Volta? Seriously, why pretend to know more than you don't? Just write the fucking review and save us the ignorant spouting off. This isn't your myspace page. Thanks.

john_stone (October 4, 2006)

Yeah, I remember reading that somewhere. I'm just dropping some helpful geographic education.

Anonymous (October 3, 2006)

Wow, this review sucks. I agree the other records sounded like At th drive-in but this sounds NOTHING like Mars Volta or ATDI. More like recent Coheed and well, other shit.

tenwestchaser (October 3, 2006)

"The country 'Brazil", from which the band's name comes from, is a large coffee-producing nation in South America."

lol...however, you don't really think their name comes from the country do you? Because really it's from Terry Gilliam's movie.

john_stone (October 3, 2006)

The country 'Brazil", from which the band's name comes from, is a large coffee-producing nation in South America.

Oskurt_Redwall (October 3, 2006)

Saw Brazil the other night. Their show was amazing. I agree with most of the review, but I think they deserve more credit for their ingenuity and quest for prog-core. Jonathan Newby is also a super nice guy, despite his steely exterior. Below the blue lights, his white skin was virtually translucent.

danperrone (October 3, 2006)

wow that cover art is bad

Anonymous (October 3, 2006)

The comparisons to ATDI have always been rather unfair, but I thought A Hostage was an excellent album. This one is mediocore.

tenwestchaser (October 3, 2006)

The movie 'Brazil," from which the bands name comes from, is fucking awesome.

Anonymous (October 3, 2006)

Hm, I think this is slightly better than you give them credit for. I hear a mixture of Sunny Day Real Estate and Yes, not so much Mars Volta.

Exclusive Streams

Sponsored


Newest Reviews

Punknews.org Team

Other Places to Go