Album Review: Brix & The Extricated – Part 2
Brix Smith Start will be, like a number of this band, forever associated with The Fall.
The good and bad times from that period have been told over and over. And Brix, she lost her love of music and tried her hand pretty successfully at television and fashion.
But she has that spark back. And she wants to be writing songs again. So she has teamed up with some old friends and formed this project which mixes the anarchic punk of the time with some happy slapping pop, dirty bass lines and - probably most pleasing for her - a bit of fun.
Brix & The Extricated lay their cards on their table with their psychedelic album cover that amazes and terrifies in equal measure. There is something unnerving about the swirling colours, and this can be said for the music at times too.
It takes a while to get going. This has the unusual statement of being better towards its conclusion than its start.
It's not until we reach its sixth track that something clicks and becomes hugely likeable. Moonrise Kingdom is one of the more breezy numbers on the record with its sweeping melodies and Brix's almost hushed vocals compared to her shouting default.
We enter more into Pixies territory in this section of the record, too, and it is all the better for it. The slamming bass in Teflon makes the chorus fantastic, while those honey-twinged swooshing guitars on the gloomy yet upbeat LA are maybe the record's best moment.
Closer Hollywood, too, is packed with scratched guitar melodies that carry the song nicely from start to finish. Brix's vocals become almost a secondary component to the music, the desert rock vibe making this a journey of sound. Perhaps even a driving song.
It is just a shame that the more angry punk start to Part 2 jars with this ending and keeps the scores down.
Pnuematic Violet is a slightly grating song, while Feeling Numb and Hotel Bloedel fail to rise above mediocre.
Fans of The Fall may like to hear the new direction for these guys, but it won't make any 'best of' lists.
Brix & The Extricated are playing at Wolverhampton's Newhampton Arts Centre on November 8.