CD Review: The Brutalist Bricks

If there is any artist that can reliably churn out album after album of frustratingly upbeat pop-punk influenced rock songs like it’s nobody’s business, Ted Leo would certainly fit the bill. With a runtime that clocks under 45 minutes, Ted Leo & the Pharmacists’ latest album, The Brutalist Bricks offers the standard fare: infectiously energetic rock songs that are articulate, if not obtuse, and catchy, if not homogenous.

Ted Leo & the Pharmacists

The Brutalist Bricks

Matador

Rating: 3

If there is any artist that can reliably churn out album after album of frustratingly upbeat pop-punk influenced rock songs like it’s nobody’s business, Ted Leo would certainly fit the bill. With a runtime that clocks under 45 minutes, Ted Leo & the Pharmacists’ latest album, The Brutalist Bricks offers the standard fare: infectiously energetic rock songs that are articulate, if not obtuse, and catchy, if not homogenous.

For an artist that has been producing infectious power-pop albums since the 1990s, it’s a wonder that Leo can muster and maintain the energy he does on The Brutalist Bricks. On “Woke Up Near Chelsea,” Leo sounds confident and invigorated. “Where Was My Brain” follows suit and draws punk riffs and influence from early British punk bands, notably The Damned or The Buzzcocks. It’s rare for any band in rock music to maintain the level of credibility Ted Leo has over the years, and with an album that is vigorous, taut and everything you’d expect from the Pharmacists.

Give these tracks a listen: “Woke Up Near Chelsea”, “The Mighty Sparrow”

For Fans of: Thin Lizzy, Dexy’s Midnight Runners, The Buzzcocks

– Amber Yan