San Francisco based singer/songwriter Brad Brooks' self released CD "Sanctified Into Astroglide" is a 13-song pop kaleidoscope.
Well-crafted songs, complex Beatlesque harmonies, and guitar/piano driven glimpses of the sunshine of your lust.
Quiet, yet powerful, with analog sounds, warped orchestration and special guests.
It's a Big Star "Sister Lovers", "Smiley Smile" Beach Boy in love with Elliott Smith, as the Zombies ride Todd Rundgren into Golden Gate Park and discover Jellyfish are riding all the rides.
There's also some compelling Stones-tinged alt/country fair of confessional gospel sin, and a George and Tammyesque shit-stomp on a lawnmower built for two.
Rob Forbes-(Leicester Bangs UK)
Brad Brooks solo debut CD is an elaborate fusion of west coast baroque, melodic pop aesthetics and wispy psychedelia. A nice combination, and one that is rooted in the music of '60s and '70s Anglo-pop geniuses like The Zombies, 10cc and Wings, with just a hint of some modern practitioners, such as Chris von Sneidern and even Ocean Colour Scene. Upfront pop songs are at the forefront of the album, and Brooks is an accomplished writer, always engaging the listener with catchy hooks and clever lyrical twists. Much of the material is piano based which only adds to the '70s ambience and the best songs on Sanctified Into Astroglide - "Frosty Chronic Memories", "The Velvet Flu" and "Mildred Cross" - deserve a much wider audience.
John O'Neal (SF Bay Guardian)
Brooks is a mid-tempo, piano-based pop magician who originally hails from Tucson, Ariz., home of nothing. If his latest album, Sanctified in Astroglide (Mouth Magic), is any indication of what is to be expected live, he could be the talk of the festival. Or he could be an unmitigated disaster. Brooks's quasi psychedelia-meets-West Coast baroque owes to obvious influences like Brian Wilson and the Zombies, but it owes just as much to the bombast of ELO and Wings (the only thing more embarrassing than McCartney's solo output). Disconcerting? You bet. Either way, it's a must-see.
Kevin Matthews (Power Of Pop)BRAD BROOKS Sanctified Into Astroglide [Mouth Magic] www.Brad-Brooks.com Sci-fi pop. Edgy, angular, oddball but always with melodic quotient intact. Psychedelic John Lennon, Traffic, Smile-era Brian Wilson, the Move, Syd Barrett, Robyn Hitchcock, XTC, Teardrop Explodes and Blur -- y'know pop with a distinctive flavour. Mildred Cross, Second Only To Nature, Barking Dogma and Juliette Lewis Day Off attest to Brook's way with quirky tunes, spacey effects, studiocraft and a healthy dose of fun. The last 3 tracks end on a rootsy note but, what can I tell ya - it works! (8)
Jeff Shelton (Amplifier)Brad Brooks is a San Francisco singer-songwriter who has been working the in mines of the local music scene for years, in addition to earlier musical stints in his hometown of Tucson Arizona. Finally coming to terms with his well-versed pop music acumen, Brooks has assembled a fine collection of compelling mid-tempo pop on his debut album "Sanctified Into Astroglide". With the help of various Bay Area musicians, Brooks has melded his piano-based songs into rich, complex and sometimes psychedelic songscapes with sweetly melodic 60's and 70's pop overtones."Frosty Chronic Memories" has a distinct Zombies flair with its soft vocals and rich gliding piano, while the punchy "Juliette Lewis Day Off" is pure 70's pop indulgence ala 10cc and Queen. Equally adept at just guitar and vocals, Brooks offers a change of pace with the sweet, stripped-down "Mildred Cross", perhaps the album's most memorable track. As if searching for even more variety, "Sanctified's" later tracks astroglide into mid-tempo pop that is almost country-tinged. Certainly not lacking influence and ability, Brad Brooks is a pop solo artist on the rise, who will hopefully take his pop appeal beyond the reaches of the Bay Area.
On his singularly titled self released album "Sanctified Into Astroglide", Bay Area singer-songwriter Brad Brooks favors a complex approach - major chords, tambourines, acoustic and electric guitars, pianos, calloipes, third-year music theory chord progressions, and layers upon layers of sugary backing vocals - the end result of which is a very pleasant 13-song pop toothache. Brooks takes notes from '90s pop fiends like Guided by Voices and Matthew Sweet, but still holds old-school syrup-mongers like 10cc, Wings, Supertramp, and XTC close to his chest. "Sanctified Into Astroglide" is a promising recording from a rising Bay Area songsmith.
Some artists have great ideas. Some have great songs. Brad Brooks has both. Quiet, yet powerful, Brad's music is very compelling. Complex vocal arrangements, excellent instrumentation and just plain old fashioned quality songwriting that grabs the cynic in you and kicks its ass. If you like the Eels, Elliot Smith, Brian Wilson, and the softer side of Jellyfish, Brad Brooks is your next pop crush.
If you could take sunshine, collect it in a jar, and then pour the incandescent liquid over piano keys and unplugged guitars and chiming tambourines, you might end up with a Brad Brooks song. All those dream-inducing Beach Boy harmonies and syrupy slow music combine to sound like a summer day when the gentle breezes keep the heat away and gently brush the hairs on your face.