Rick Brantley P.F.L.S.A.

When music hits this many nerves at once, you know the artist’s a keeper. This too-short six-song EP commands instant attention. Rick Brantley is a total unknown, hailing from Georgia. Hopefully, P.F.L.S.A. (Prize Fight Lover Soul Auctioneer) will change that. Exploding into the title track like a hyperactive Willie Nile (as if that was possible) and the exuberance of Greetings from Asbury Park-era Springsteen, Brantley clearly has no middle gear. His use of exaggerated imagery, combined with seemingly boundless, youthful energy (he’s 21), reveals a lean and wiry heartland rocker destined to bludgeon any audience at breakneck speed. The arrangements incorporated here are even bigger than his themes, combining the full package of powerful vocals, complete horn sections, background singers, tough guitars, powerful keyboards, tight rhythms and crisp, clean production values. Which begs the question: why haven’t we heard of him until now? I can’t recall when six tracks have hit so hard so quickly, delivered with all the piss’n’vinegar and full-on adrenalin of rockers long since interned at a home. Track down Rick Brantley and listen to the way things should be. Thirty minutes of pure, street-smart attitude later, you’ll wonder why you feel like a train has hit you. (Carnival)