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Brazil Dasein

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1. Monolithic 2. Erasure 3. Saturn Parkway 4. Canon 5. Life Death 6. It Keeps The Machine Running
2002 Fearless Records
Our score 7

by Amy Sciarretto
1/25/2003

Judging from the "Dasein" EP, Brazil is a band that would fit right snug at home on the Krazy Fest roster. This Indiana sextet plays the kind of music that Krazy Fest is always the first to spotlight: left of center post-hardcore, indie rock and new emo. Although the EP is only five songs long, it's so ambitious and hopscotches across several different genres with such ease that it feels like an entire album of material. The two most noticeable things about "Dasein" are the keyboard/piano melodies of Nicholas Newby and how closely singer Jonathan Newby resembles At The Drive In's Cedric Bixler. (It's worth mentioning that Fearless Records launched At The Drive In's career, as well, issuing the "Vaya" EP back in the day!) The keyboards are prevalent throughout "Dasein," but don't fret. Brazil aren't the Elton John or Billy Joel of post-hardcore and indie rock. They aren't even like Something Corporate, who highlight their pop punk with pianos. Rather, the keyboards are the complement, the driving force, and the glue that holds the whole damn thing together, and ultimately that which prevents Brazil from sounding like just another indie rock band. Each song is built around a piano melody or a piano outro and in underground rock, that's not something you see everyday. Newby's vocals are high-pitched and fervently impassioned in the same vein as Bixler; it's almost as though his voice is tribute, and enough to make us shed a tear for the dearly departed ATDI. And while the urgent, push 'n pull riffing of guitarists Aaron Smith and Eric Johnson are similar to At The Drive In, it wouldn't be fair to call Brazil an ATDI clone. There's a grand atmosphere and a sprawling, epic swirl in the opening track "Monolithic" and the closer "It Keeps The Machine Running" that reminds us of Cave In's textures, as well. "Saturn Parkway" enters shoe-gazer territory, and it's a sweet little ditty with concise, poem-style lyrics. The talked dialogue of "Canon" quickly conjures up memories of "Invalid Litter Dept" from ATDI's "Relationship Of Command." Bottom Line: Essentially, Brazil wears its influences on its sleeve, but never in a blatant, annoying, or copycat fashion. The end result is refreshing and new, and it's a must-have for the all the sensitive boys and girls. The use of pianos is ballsy, since it's an instrument that rarely rears its head in underground rock. If you're looking to mosh it up until the dancefloor is ankle deep in blood, then "Dasein" and Brazil are certainly not for you. But if you like bands that take a chance, and aren't afraid to admit that you dig indie rock, then Dasein is certainly worth the coins you spend on it.

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