Before Braille is an independent rock band that calls Mesa, Arizona home. Together for closing in on three years, the group's energetic, individualistic and emotive sound has been called "480 area core" or "Mesa Rock" by lead singer David Jensen. It has also been linked with the EMO-core renaissance currently popularized by critically acclaimed and nationally recognized East Valley compatriots Jimmy Eat World, with whom Before Braille have played live on their home turf.
Before Braille bristles at being categorized, though, and simply see their music as new alternative rock for a new decade. They want their songs to stand on their own. Most important to them is the true indie scene 'DIY' code of ethics. Do It Yourself-- for the love of the music, cause you want, cause you can, and cause you're not selling out for anything-- not changing art, ever, for the sake of commercialism. Citing the now-legendary D.C. area post-hardcore titans Fugazi as a major inspiration, Before Braille's driving ideology is about keeping the music real, being fan-friendly, and playing from the heart for themselves and for the audiences.
It all started for Before Braille when Jensen and friend-since-high school Hans Ringger got together to write songs after both were back in Mesa from separate journeys to points afar. Fellow high school chums Brandon Smith and Kelly Reed stepped in, and, last but not least, Reggie Patel rounded out the group, and everything clicked. The name was coined by Jensen. While it has no precise meaning, he explains that "It has to do with rules and guidelines. Everybody battles rules, but there are some that help you achieve. Braille is an example...with universal guidelines, a whole new world opened up. Ironically, though, the most important form of communication has nothing to do with language."
That visceral, without pretense, life-force communication is what characterizes Before Braille's music, both at their interactive live shows and on record. The band is a truly functional collective, with everybody contributing ideas, resulting in a remarkably prolific creative output. Which suits them fine, since they view songs as temporary things, living expressions of thoughts and feelings at any given time, then on to the next. That sense of raw immediacy sums up their charismatic sound.
In 2001, Before Braille was featured on alt-tastemaker label Deep Elm's Emo Diaries compilation series. In the Spring of 2002, their self-titled, five-song promo EP drew critical raves, prompting CMJ to write, "This foursome delivers a positively commanding performance that belays its relatively recent appearance on the radar. Each track on this sampler of songs from the upcoming full-length is brimming with texture and taste. Released September '02, that very full-length, the band's first album The Rumor - featuring the first single "Twenty Four Minus Eighteen"-entered the college radio charts at #1 its first week out, making for an auspicious out-of-the-box-debut. Their lo-fi attitude and high-intensity music fully intact. Before Braille is enjoying success in the best possible sense - doing it their way.
another review: http://stinkweeds.com/reviews/beforebraille.cfm