A horrible hack


Frame & Canvas

Year Released: 1998
Format: LP
Label: Polyvinyl
Reviewed by Andy Malcolm on Jun 13, 2007
Finally. 3 months after I first heard Braid and decided they were any good, I get around to buying the album. In between time I have managed to acquire 3 of their other singles, including a couple of earlier ones, "rainsnowmatch" and "I'm Afraid Of Everything". There has been quite a progression since those messy, slightly hardcore efforts. A progression to the scruffy, slightly unpredictable, yet ultimately lovable and rocking music on "Frame & Canvas".

Never one's to let the fact that a tune is required to make songs memorable escape them here, Braid see fit to keep your attention by letting their guitars knock you about the face, and do stuff which you weren't quite expecting. But never forget they are ultimately doing pop music. It's just that they are making it different than you.

Amidst all their guitar fiddling around, they'll throw in sweeping melodic sections, such as on "Never Will Come For Us", and these would fit in quite nicely to Promise Ring songs. Single, "First Day Back" has grown on me hugely since I gave it a paltry 7.5/10 on these pages a couple of months back. And how about the sweet, sweet introduction to "Urbana's Too Dark"? Yummy. "Ariel" has a beautifully bouncy poppiness to it, but isn't afraid to rock out when necessary.

Lyrically Braid are everything you'd expect, the usual emo stuff about life, love, loss and strange obsession. Except Braid's almost appears to be with numbers.

If you already like emo and stuff, chances are you Braid your record player pretty regularly. If you don't, then here is a band that is as good as any too hook you into style of music that'll stun you senseless. Not exactly indie, not exactly pop. Not exactly punk, not exactly rock. A strange brew of all four, and something which is so well done that even the NME gave this album 8/10.

This isn't the most instant of albums, you might find it takes a while to nail your head to Braid's flag, but eventually you will, oh yes, you will.

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