Too Old To Die Young is a sentiment that rings true to plenty of us aging punks, living for high Beats Per Minute and living with high blood pressure. It also encapsulates the timeless feel to this record.
Bracket are self proclaimed musical ‘misfits’ and were somewhat coerced into making this album by Fat Mike. They live in the cracks between punk and pop punk – as well as flirting with other genres – but here they have produced an album that will make perfect sense to punks of all varieties and ages. If your dad keeps harping on about 80s punk, then firstly I’m sorry for your troubles, but here is an album for both of you!
This is not an attempt to reinvent any wheels. They’ve been there, done that. This is simple and pure punk rock songwriting, delivered with melodic aplomb. It’s a blend of old and new that bridges the generational gap between The Ramones and Masked Intruder.
“Cloud Ate” takes some bouncy baby steps to start the album, with an improvised guitar riff, before immediately finding it’s stride and setting the pace for what’s to come. There is a beauty in the simplicity of the songs; a sense of pure joy that emanates through each track. With some frankly delightful Oohs N Aahs in the background.
That’s right, I said delightful. Because this album is delightful and I don’t think Bracket give a shit if it’s punk rock or not. The vocal duties are traded, shared and intentionally layered in a way that sounds like The Beach Boys if they actually got into the whole Charles Manson cult thing.
Aptly enough “A Perfect Misfit” is one of the standout songs here, combining all the best elements of the album into a punky brew. There are self-deprecating lyrics across most of the 26 minutes of the LP, but one benefit of growing older is that you run out of fucks to give. Sure, they may not have made it big. Sure, they might on average be the wrong side of 40. But they are a band who are comfortable in their sound, even if they might not be as comfortable in their skin.
This is a great little power pop album, just in time for summer. Fat Mike has made some questionable choices in his life, but convincing Bracket to go ahead with this album is not one of them.