Brando Single Crown Postcard

Oddball art-rock quintet Brando hails from Bloomington, IL, which isn’t nearly as close to Oklahoma City as the band’s likeness to Mercury Rev and the Flaming Lips might suggest. An even more deft comparison would be to that of Ted Velykis’ Shimmy Disc unit the Ladytron (not to be confused with the similarly named Brit outfit). Considering about a dozen people picked up on that band’s eponymous 2000 release though, the reference point is ostensibly moot. Despite having spent over ten years together, this is just the second proper CD release from Brando, the first being last year’s memorably-titled The Headless Horseman is a Preacher. Like that one, Single Crown Postcard was recorded primarily in a basement and mostly on a four-track porta-studio. As such, the sound quality is decidedly lo-fi, but the songwriting here is crafty and original enough to transcend any sonic shortcomings. The band’s use of repetitive guitar lines and unconventional percussion, combined with Derek Richey’s lazy, Barrett-like vocal routine, creates makes for a trippy yet melodic brand of pleasing contemporary psychedelia. One can only imagine what sort of musical splendour Brando could unleash given a shot at a full recording studio. (Recordhead)