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Chris Brokaw - Red Cities


Various UK Press

Guitar instrumentals that display unmistakable virtuosity but notable restraint...Brokaw transcends the mathmatical plod of most of his contemporaries. There's real blood and romance here -- Godspeed's grandeur, rustic stylings that shows up most John Fahey disciples as ham-fisted phonies, and even an unabashed urge to rock when needs must. - John Mulvey, Uncut, July 2002

Brokaw is the shadowy standout figure of other people's recordings. Among the cult figures who lean on his guitar playing for support are the former Lemonhead Evan Dando and Come's Thalia Zedek, while as a member of Codeine he pioneered the dense, bulldozer riffs that today seem commonplace in the American underground. His first solo album, comprising 14 instrumentals on which he plays everything, features fuzzedup flamenco guitar figures, the kind of psychedelic spaghetti-western sounds favored by Calexico, and seismic shifts in mood, from the apocalyptic to the whimsical, the brilliant to the banal. Regrettably, the finest track, the 10 minute "Field pt. II" is scheduled rather too early. Programme your CD player accordingly to avoid disappointment. - Stewart Lee, Sunday Times, June 2, 2002

Red Cities swings though dark and edgy moods, fitting seamlessly between post-rock, frenetic strumming and lazy Tex-Mex borderland workouts. - Tim Perry, The Independent, May 25, 2002

A litany of succulent electric guitar textures and bold rhythms, this should appeal to anyone who cherishes their Calexico, Tom Verlaine or Aerial M records. Punctuated by xylophone trills and taces of feedback, it runs the gamut from spaghetti western twang to ambient drift and faux free-jazz, the disparate styles homogenised by Brokaw's facility for splendidly plangent chord changes. The middle of the stage is now his. - David Sheppard, Mojo, July 2002 instrumental affair, full of intense axe abuse, topped by an unlikely cover of "The Look Of Love". Think Hank Marvin smashing Cliff Richard's face off with his Strat. -Tim Footman, Careless Talk Costs Lives, June 2002

...a series of brooding instrumental sketches propelled by sparse percussion and dominated by (Brokaw's) skeletal guitar tone....a moonlit trawl through some blasted desert rock that is as singleminded and lonesome as some of John Fahey's electric material. - David Keenan, The Wire, June 2002

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