The Mark of Excellence

Bracket

Requiem

> > Mar 2006

Bracket - Requiem
By Sam SutherlandAfter a six-year wait since their last studio full-length, Bracket have delivered what is undoubtedly the best work of their career. Why their longtime home of Fat Wreck Chords passed on this record is beyond the understanding of any human being with ears; hopefully, just as many grateful listeners will find this pop punk gem and appreciate its powerfully unique attributes. Truth be told, Bracket’s canon of material is not exactly overwhelming, with a selection of middle-of-the-road pop punk records that fit neatly into the "Fat sound” of the late ’90s. This results in the feeling that Requiem has been blasted out of leftfield, bringing together the vocal brilliance of the Beach Boys with the straightforward songwriting of pop punk hallmarks such as the Descendents in a way that comes across as completely natural. Records such as this normally come out of some sort of unique set of circumstances, and given that the band produced and engineered the entire record in a studio they built themselves, it becomes a little easier to understand the off-the-wall creativity permeating every single track here. While cribbing notes from Pet Sounds seems to be a growing trend amongst aging punk bands, no one of those bands can boast a record as fun and natural sounding as this.

How did working on the record yourselves differ from your experiences in the past with other producers and engineers?Guitarist Angello Celli: We obviously felt much freer, in many ways. We could take our time, because no one was getting paid hourly and we followed our own schedule. But the main thing is that we were able to try things. We felt like since we were doing it all, we might as well not hold back, and just do everything we ever wanted to do. There wasn’t anyone telling us something wasn’t a good idea, so we were able to record as many bad ideas as we wanted. I think the freedom really moved us to expand our sound and make a record that we’re 100% proud of.

Were you surprised when Fat passed on the record?Yeah, we were surprised. We were really proud of it and we couldn’t wait for other people to hear it. They were the first ones to hear it, outside of our families, and they told us they didn’t want to put it out. We were surprised, hurt, pissed, all of that. But we got over trying to understand why they passed on it, and found someone who appreciated it.
(Stolen Transmission)
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