Review: Brian Bond – Fire & Gold

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Label: self-released

Released: March 10, 2009

Folk and punk has found some common ground over the years. From Billy Bragg’s incendiary love and politics to Elliott Smith’s dark beauty, the two genres have occasionally met in strange ways that have never been entirely one genre or the other, yet clearly rooted in both.

Brian Bond is a similar artist in a sense. Musically, he’s clearly a folk artist. The songs are gentle and quiet. At times, you can hear Elliot Smith’s heartfelt hooks, only with a warmer, more open, perhaps more innocent heart. In addition, these songs have had time to develop over the two years it took to write and record them. It’s clear, because nothing is rushed or incomplete. By taking the time to get it right, Bond gains the benefits of well thought out songs that, at the same time, don’t lose their sense of spontaneity.

But somewhere in the spirit of this album is a fierce independence and DIY ethic that is clearly punk. Some of that stems from the album’s simplicity. These songs are essentially Bond and his guitar. Though most songs feature accompaniment, it is crafted so as to enhance, but never overshadow Bond’s performance. Fire & Gold follows its own path, one that runs musically parallel to folk, but spiritually intersects with the strengths of punk and indie music. It is a quiet moment for punks and a shot in the arm for folk.

This isn’t the folk-punk thing that you get from a Chuck Reagan or a Defiance, Ohio. It’s fundamentally (and beautifully) folk with a punk heart underneath.

Satriani: 7/10
Zappa: 7/10
Dylan: 7/10
Aretha: 8/10
Overall: 7/10



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About bobvinyl

bobvinyl, writer and co-editor of No Song is an Island, founded its predecessor, Rock and Roll and Meandering Nonsense (whose archives are found here), in 2005 and served as editor and principal contributor until it went on hiatus in 2010. He has also been published in AMP and Loud Fast Rules! (in print) as well as Glide and FensePost on the web. He has been an avid record collector since he was seven years old and enjoys sharing his love of music from the common to the esoteric.

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