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The Kansan - Newton, KS
by Garon Cockrell
Bridges And Powerlines: “Better” (2013) EP Review
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Bridges And Powerlines is a pop band based in New York. They

released their first, self-titled, EP in 2006, and since then have put out a

couple of full-length CDs. Their new EP, Better,

contains all original songs, with all four band members sharing writing credits.

Usually CDs order their songs so that the strongest tracks are first. Not so

here. This EP, for the most part, actually gets better as it goes along (with

my favorites being the third, fourth and sixth tracks). The common thread seems

to a hopeful attitude, with these songs having a positive stance on getting through

the tough times. The songs on this EP are named after neighborhoods in

Brooklyn.








Better opens

with “Bushwick,” a decent power pop song, with rough male vocals mixed with sweeter backing vocals. This song has a great energy, and kind of a positive

vibe with the eager, exuberant repetition of “We find a new way.”  It’s a

song of getting through and moving on, with lines like “Don’t cry/We might see tomorrow if we try/We might be the ones who

never die/Leave this space behind and go outside
.”








“Park Slope” starts with its protagonist in a hospital

bed, with the world at war. This one has a positive aspect too, as he sings, “Love tends my wounds.” And then, though

he admits he’s broken, he sings, “When

it’s over, we’ll see mountains/We’ll see forests when it’s over
.”








It’s the third track, “Williamsburg,” that really gets me

interested in this band. It’s a great song, partially because of its wonderful

build. And it has these excellent catchy touches on keys. I just love the feel

of this one. This is when pop is at its best. And then it’s not afraid of

ditching that good comfortable groove for a bit, to go into a different

section, with a stronger presence on drums. This song really draws me in.  Why

close my eyes, sleep the night away when I have you
.”








As good as that song is, “East New York” is actually even

better, and much more interesting. The vocals start at the fore, over a steady

beat that slowly creeps up. The album’s title comes from this song’s opening

lines: “Better/I’m doing better/I’m doing

better/’Cause I’m not around/Braver with someone less clever/I read old letters

to somebody else
.”  This track has really

nice vocals, both the lead and backing vocals. There is something of a sweet

innocence to the feel of this song – “And

I was young/And I was wrong
.” The repetition of those lines seems as a way

of letting go, as when you repeat something enough it tends to lose meaning.

This is a wonderful song.






“Greenpoint” begins with drums before the vocals and

other instruments come in. “We’ve gone

and lost control/Now we’re just another set of separate souls/So come in, and

take my shoulder/And release each other
.” This becomes more of a rock song

when the guitar takes over. It’s like the guitar is acting as a voice, telling

another part of the tale, a brief part, for the guitar subsides again.








“Red Hook” features some interesting vocal work, particularly

the play between lead and backing vocals near the beginning. This song is

actually quite pretty at times. But it’s the keyboard work I love most – it’s

nothing extravagant or ostentatious or anything – but the simple feel of it is

quite effective.








CD Track List




  1. Bushwick


  2. Park Slope


  3. Williamsburg


  4. East New York


  5. Greenpoint


  6. Red Hook









Bridges And Powerlines are Andrew Wood, Keith Sigel,

David Boyd and Mason Ingram. Joining them on this release are Rob Moose on

violin, CJ Camerieri on trumpet and French horn, Clarice Jensen on cello,

Kieran Kelly on percussion and backing vocals, Maine Sigel on backing vocals,

and Vanessa Morales providing the radio voiceover.








Better is

scheduled to be released on May 21, 2013 on Daisy Pistol Records.








(Note: I also posted this on Michael Doherty's Music Log.)






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