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Davis, California

Friday, February 23, 2024

CD Review: The Belle Brigade

The Belle Brigade
Rating: 4

The Belle Brigade keeps it in the family for good reason. The band is comprised of siblings Barbara Gruska and Ethan Gruska. The pair seem to share a musical harmony reminiscent of Bob Dylan, Simon and Garfunkel and 70s pop-rock.

Their first single “Losers,” with its anthemic lyrics and simplistic guitar sounds, evidences the chutzpah of the pair as Barbara croons the chorus, “Don’t care about being a winner/ Or being smooth with women/ Or going out on Fridays/ Being the life of parties/ Don’t care about being harder/ Or being Daddy’s favorite/ Or if you think I’m a mimic/ Or if I am a loser.”

On the eponymous album, The Belle Brigade, Ethan’s achievement is his heart-wrenching guitar-playing on the track “Fasten You to Me.” The song is about holding on and delivers unexpected buoyancy in conjunction with a deep-felt gravity.

The album is all the breezy delight on a spring afternoon, but the struggle for harmony between pop and country influences seems apparent — especially in “Where Not to Look for Freedom.” However, the duo with the gently-swaying rhythm of its debut album leaves the listener wanting just a little more.

Give these tracks a listen: “Losers”, “Fasten You to Me”, “Shirt”
For Fans Of: Dum Dum Girls, Cymbals Eat Guitars


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