Bracket - Live in a Dive (Cover Artwork)


Live in a Dive (2002)

Fat Wreck Chords

Bracket isn't really a popular band around here. I've liked them since I got their "Novelty Forever" album, but Bracket has always been a bit off-center...they don't really sound like other bands, especially other Fat bands. Being unique is a good thing though, even if it doesn't help them reach the popular heights of a Blink. I can't pinpoint exactly what it is that makes them so unique though. It's certainly somewhat the lead singer's (Marty) voice. It's kind of nasally and weird, but I like it. But I think it's mostly the way they write songs. To me it sounds like 4 guys wrote some punk rock songs in a truckstop while listening to Hank Williams on the jukebox and drinking coffee. It has a bit of a country twang to it but not really, it has a white trash element, but it's mainly just a unique style that the band seems to have fun playing. it's a very genuine style that they aren't ripping off of anyone, because there isn't another band that sounds like them.

Interestingly, this CD was recorded live at a concert way back in 1999. Bracket wasn't even the headlining band either! They were openers at a Tilt show. Marty keeps saying how nervous he is to be recording a live album... It's all kinda funny. Kinda like Bracket though, under the radar...

I've got to say this album is a lot better than the first "Live in a Dive" record (No Use For a Name). It actually sounds live, it's not over polished. Bracket has put a lot more into this album. Their song choice is also better, digging deep into the vaults and doing a lot of old material that newer Bracket fans like myself were not really familiar with. It's kind of like an education in Bracket history. In fact, there's only three songs on here from their last 2 albums (the ones I own). Plus there isn't a lot of in between song chit chat, and the included comic book is much better than the one No Use did.

My favorite tracks from this album are the opener "Trailer Park", "Hearing Aid", "Sour", and "Circus Act". But there's not really anything to complain about on this disc. I think it's all pretty rockin'.

Extra features on this disc include a comic book and an enhanced cd video. The comic plot line revolves around Bracket become a pop-punk clone band named "Bracket 141". It's kinda funny, and features a Fat Mike cameo (Massive Mac). The video is pretty good, featuring an interview and 2 song videos (Circus Act and Trailer Park), only downside is during the video interview they name Canada as their worst country. Come on guys! Apparently someone smashed their van windows at a show in Canada once... oh well, can't win 'em all.

A definite improvement in the Fat Wreck live series, and a step in the right direction...Good choice by Fatty to do up a Bracket live album. This band rocks, hopefully they get the courage come back to Canada someday. We won't bust up your van again... I promise.