There is no escaping the specter that looms over Bad Breaks, the recently re-invigorated project helmed by drummer/songwriter Chuck Kerr (art director for the Current). Bad Breaks sound a helluvalot like Spoon, from the minimalist arrangements and earwormy hooks to Kerr singing like a bassier Elvis Costello. In this "mission statement" release of a single-take live show (preceding a forthcoming studio release), Kerr injects the songs with a looseness and urgency lacking in other indie pop. On "Won't Come Home," Marcus Rubio's guitar ends the song with a noodly wall of sound as Kerr zealously embellishes the beat. "Get it Right" is a soulful slapper that finds keyboardist Alex Wash fingering wrong notes that sound oh-so right. The epic hokey ballad, "Let Me Tell You Something True," features a final minute of carnivalesque rock noise circling a methodical stomp-clap. Kerr channels straight-ahead rock 'n' roll on "Chapter and Verse" by assaulting the track with downbeats. He rises above the bands that inspire him by building on what they've already done; his willingness to be more aggressive and loose-limbed than his contemporaries makes this an engaging, excellent debut.
You can download the album for free here:
Bad Breaks: KRTU Plugged in Session