Mess+Noise EP review: Bigstrongbrute – ‘We Can Sleep Under Trees In The Morning’, September 2010

An EP review for Mess+Noise. Excerpt below.

Bigstrongbrute – We Can Sleep Under Trees In The Morning

Bigstrongbrute - 'We Can Sleep Under Trees In The Morning' EP coverWritten partly between “a brutal Brisbane summer and a bitter New Jersey winter”, this EP from Bigstrongbrute – musical alter ego of Paul Donoughue – is the successor to his self-released album, Gardens In The Gutter (2008, now out of print). What began as a solo project has blossomed into a group effort, both on stage and within this release: friends lend bass, trumpet, flute and piano to augment Donoughue’s frail guitar tone. Besides a contribution from Jessie Warren (aka Carry Nation), who provides guest vocals on ‘In My Own Mind’, it’s Donoughue’s deep, distinctive voice that dominates the mix. His songs are meticulously crafted, yet the end product is played loosely enough by the band to impart a sense of spontaneity and charm.

Although the middle tracks are populated with guests and musical bluster – Fergus Hill’s trumpet on ‘You Were Always Right’, a jarring, distorted electric guitar solo by Andrew Ford on ‘Supply & Demand’ – the EP begins with Donoughue alone, backed by acoustic guitar and piano. These six songs are kept intentionally uncomplicated and lo-fi (though Todd Dixon’s recording is clear and warm). They’re the sounds of loneliness forced into social interaction, before again seeking solace.

Full review at Mess+Noise, where you can also stream the track ‘You Were Always Right’.

More Bigstrongbrute on MySpace. Highly recommended.

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