The Adventures of a Small Town Witch
Still the best way to discover something is just to be handed it – no expectations. Or to find it – quite by accident. A few spins in and it really starts to sit – that’s been the case for me with this six-track EP by Roland Brown. I knew of Brown from the band Boxcar Rattle and I quite like that band without ever being hugely moved either way; couldn’t get excited but never felt like I should ever turn their music off when I was listening to it. That sort of thing. But this EP has a hook for me, it has its hooks in me, I’m sold on a sound that’s largely pastiche – a kind of hipster-huckster 1960s boho-chic shtick that interpolates the Dylan-goes-Country feel with those hep-hep NY darlings. None of that is bad, by the way. Well, it might be in someone else’s hands but there’s no faux-snarling here, Very Pleased To Meet You is the opener and you might well know by the time you’ve heard that whether you’re keen or not. I dig it – lo-fi sounding groove, great pop instincts though, charming shimmer.
Shine Your Light On Me starts off with a guitar line that could be from a Smashing Pumpkins B-side (you know, their good stuff!) and drifts along toward the slacker Kurt Vile feel. That sound is fully realised with the third track, Crystal Meth, a sort of imagined meeting between Vile and that great ole Welly band, Letterbox Lambs. A country-ish tinge to this one – and it works well. Crazy Old Man is short and coasts along on the train rhythm, a Dylan fan going Violent Femmes. It’s a shard of a song, really – not much more. But there’s just enough there for it to stab you with its point.
Strange Things has to be this EP’s weakest track – but it is not without its charms, just the closest to filler here. The closer though, Battered, Broken, Worthless Man – this is the winner. This is where Brown steps up and shrugs off the comparisons and reference points, this is where his sound full announces itself. Meaning you’re stuck with just six tracks and 20 minutes of music for now – while you wait for the full-lengther. The good news – this plays well on repeat. The very good news? You can pay what you like to own this – so chuck him so coins if you think it’s worthy.