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Record Review


Part of the reason Stanley Kubrick's 2001 was such a spectacular mind-fuck was that whole scenes passed without so much as a syllable being uttered. Instead, there were long, hypnotic shots of white ships floating in space, of numb-looking humans drifting through the airlock, of gigantic infants and ominous obelisks. While the debut from one-man band Brando offers more in the way of words, Single Crown Postcard captures that same feeling of numb weightlessness, of bodies held aloft and gliding eerily through the black.

Like a dollar-store Mercury Rev, Derek Richey (the sole persona behind Brando) augments his spare arrangements with symphonic keyboards and drugged-up percussion. "Judy Garland" hangs on thumping, droning bass and Richey's squeaking, childlike vocals. Plunking piano ushers in "Driving to My Desert," and the remainder of the song sounds like a busted calliope wheezing out a skewered melody.

Elsewhere, "Two Views" is all thumping bass drum and lightly strummed guitar, and "By and By" isolates Richey's voice over gulping bass. The songs are submerged in echo throughout, adding to the feeling of anti- gravitational aimlessness. All of which makes Single Crown Postcard a bleak snapshot of emotional isolation.

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