Jesse Brewster - Wrecking Ball at the Concert Hall
Owain Paciuszko 16/02/2011
Dreary alt-country from San Franciscan Brewster almost gets away with it on the opening track All Those Things I Said, with Brewster's enthusiastic delivery covering the cliches amply. Sadly along comes doe-eyed ballad Fuel For The Fire which sounds like an elevator muzak cover version of an earnest life-affirming teen soap theme song.
There's a so-so rowdy swagger to God Fearin' Man which is about 30 years too late, but no less appropriate, for the soundtrack to Patrick Swayze flick Roadhouse. It gathers momentum and increases tempo, reaching a unashamedly cheesy and fun-filled hi-speed finale; your almost tempted to start a bar-room brawl. Suitably the next song is a woozy, beer soaked barfly remorseful lament called Dive To Drown In and it works as a counter-point to the previous ramshackle, fist-flying frenzy.
The record meanders on via some forgettable fluff such as Sometime, and the record shuffles towards a close with the meandering and lengthy rocker Sorry Ain't Enough which occasionally pulls itself up into anthemic asides, but is content to trundle along as an earnest sub-Springsteen dirge.
It's one of those LPs where you can't help but feeling excessively cruel, because Brewster's voice is fine, the playing on the record is perfunctory, and the songs will tick boxes for a certain audience, but we can't all be that audience, and there's so many similar Americana artists out there ploughing the same fields with the same horse and sowing the same seeds of inspiration. Eventually you've got a field full of same old same old, and Brewster just blends into the background of an already well blended background.