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05/06/2009 Kevin Devine's Brother's Blood
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Kevin Devine - News
|Kevin Devine's Brother's Blood|
|05-06-2009 08:13 | 0 comment(s)|
People throw around phrases like "The World's Best Kept Secret" for occasions as varied as sales slumps to wanting to manipulate underdog status for a clearly mainstream product.
For New York-based songwriter Kevin Devine it is a real case of "best" and "secret". Devine himself says that he only manages to sell between 8,000 - 10,000 records. Most people will respond to statements about him with the kind of facial expressions usually the reserve of inquiries like "Would you like me to flapjack your waffle-house?". We can ascertain no reason as to why this man is not a revered master of the arts.
It's not as if his art skews to the niche market. His domain is folk-influenced acoustic fare with breakout moments of rock grandeur. If you've ever heard Deja Entendu by Brand New, you'll know what to expect. On a related note, it was therefore no surprise that Devine was the first name inked when Brand New instituted their own record label.
Should you be faced with the prospect of introducing even one member of this ignorant world to the Devine wonder (goodnight everybody!) you'll have a fair few options contained on Brother's Blood. Should you want to portray a gentle spirit rocked by moments of extreme anguish you could look towards either "I Could Be With Anyone" or the title track "Brother's Blood".
The former track introduces itself with an electronic drum loop before layering gently amplified acoustic guitar over the top. After superseding the electronics with real drums, Devine undergoes the kind of mood alteration not witnessed so effectively since Conor Oberst released Read Music / Speak Spanish with Desaparecidos. His tortured, nerve-cluster rocking, nasal shouts taking the tale of splintered personality and gleefully ramming the emotion down your throat.
"Brother's Blood" takes a similar tack by building up from soft acoustics and a swaying rhythm before injecting layer upon layer of intensity through its eight minute runtime. Before the final cathartic moments, you can expect haunting echoes of guitar weeping. escalations to extensive screaming guitar solos and woeful narratives of uncontrollable rage. As the fitful bursts of vocal dominance enter with "It's my brother's blood / In my dirty lungs / On my crooked mouth / On my swollen tongue / On my father's gun / On each stranger's face / Across the bluebird sky / On every hand I shake / Night after night" it's difficult to regain composure for the rueful, regret-fuelled wind-down to the song.
Finding yourself in a recommendation situation where more restrained fare might be in order? May we suggest "Yr Husband". Dealing in the kind of slow, atmospherics which made Silversun Pickups first album such a joy to behold the lyrics take a rare sympathetic look at what it's like to be the 'other man' in a extra-marital affair. Trailing off with the hurt experienced at having to see the love of his life return to the 'wrong man' we are given a chance to reflect reflect with 80 seconds of sprawling melody and meditative vocalisations.
It's true that you could answer "Who's Kevin Devine?" with any of the eleven tracks on this album, but we felt compelled to get you started on your quest to ensure that the world hears about this immensely talented Brooklynite.
When the music is this good, keeping quiet is hard, because you can't keep a secret if it never was a secret to start. Therefore: commence the word-of-mouth praise!
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