Missed Music

Music you didn’t know you needed…until now.

Edgy rock and beautiful ballads by Brad

Guitarist Stone Gossard (Pearl Jam), vocalist Shawn Smith (Satchel, Pigeonhead), bassist Jeremy Toback, and drummer Regan Hagar (Malfunkshun) formed a band and originally wanted to go by the name Shame. That name had already been used by a now defunct band featuring musician Brad Wilson. Once Wilson discovered his old band’s name was being sought by a member of Pearl Jam, he asked for some ridonkulous sum of money for use of the name. They refused and he told them, “Then no! You can’t use my name!” So the band decided they WOULD use his name. They called themselves Brad and released their first album under the title Shame.

Their debut release, Shame, came out in 1993. I encourage you to go out and buy this whole disc. More than the other two, this one takes you on a journey and is great to throw into a CD player and listen to all the way through. If you want to hear some samples of what they can do, check these out.

I love creepy cover art.

I love creepy cover art.

The resulting music proves the product adds value to the brand, not the other way around. The bass and drums provide a strong but flexible backbone. The guitar work moves nimbly from beautiful ballads to hard rockers to vamping funk. The melodies picked out by the vocalist are interesting (I read an interview where he said his occasional use of falsetto was inspired by Prince). Piano is thrown in periodically to round out the sound. To date, they have released three albums and there is good music on all of them.

  • Buttercup – I am really surprised they picked this track to kick off the album. It’s a beautiful song, but bands usually save these songs for 3/4 of the way through the disc.
  • My Fingers – This sample will give you a better feel for what kind of rock these guys are capable of.
  • 20th Century – Contrast this groove with the last track. Brad is at home playing in a variety of styles.
  • Raise Love – Another rocker, again with the pounding drums heavy in the mix.
  • We – Anchored by uplifting piano and driven by growling guitar, Shawn Smith’s voice soars on my favorite track on this disc.

1997’s follow-up release, Interiors, featured some line-up changes, but still Stone Gossard and Shawn Smith. This is more of a pick and choose disc. It has a less organic feel. The more polish means a couple tracks are stronger than anything on Shame, but there is less inspired stuff as well.

It was another long hiatus before their third release, Welcome to Disocvery Park, came out in 2002. Overall, this album features much weaker songwriting and I can only recommend a couple tracks. Worse, it appears you can’t buy individual songs(on Amazon, Artist Direct, or iTunes). So you can listen to these samples and decide for yourself whether and how you want to acquire these tracks.

  • Drop It Down – Cool lyrics, a strange groove, and the raw feel of the first album make this track work for me.
  • Revolution – The screaming vocals and roaring guitar make this another winner.

Despite the weakness of their last release, I am looking forward to their alleged upcoming release, possibly titled “Best Friends.” The band’s official website appears to have expired or something, but their MySpace page is still functional.


March 2, 2009 - Posted by | Hard Rock, Popular

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