Brocade Like You Were Here

Brocade sound like a group of weathered roots-rockers, yet their debut album, Like You Were Here, also happens to be a sincere and friendly affair. The themes, instrumentation and ethos of the LP feel strangely familiar to any rock fan. The Alberta group's lead single, "Riot Riot," doesn't do its job of displaying their strongest points. Brocade succeed most when they are calm and allow for the melancholy nature of their lyrics to complement their songwriting (i.e., "Hungry"). The great vocals are held back by derivative and predictable instrumentation, but the absolute standout of the album, "Better Than This," is a rare example of Brocade taking full advantage of their lyrical themes. The song builds into a cacophony of reverb and piano clinks that encapsulates the pain Stewart's vocals suggests, and it happens to be the most moving moment on Like You Were Here. The track is earnest and heartfelt, yet sadly it stands alone amongst an album of mostly uninspired material. (Independent)