Sunday, September 6, 2009

Pete Krebs - Brigadier (CD, 1995)

Wow, did this really come out the same year as Hazel's Are You Going to Eat That? I guess it did. And that would explain why this didn't seem to be Pete's post-Hazel debut (and it wasn't – they'd put out one more EP before officially disbanding), and more of a side project sort of thing.

Pete Krebs going acoustic had never occurred to me, though the first time I heard this record it made perfect sense. If Are You Going to Eat That seemed to be Pete heading in an introspective (read: hyper-sensitive) and aggressive direction, then this seemed to propose a method that musically suited his lyrics just as well, maybe better. The love-lost songs are still here, but they're not as blatant, not as forcibly gut-wrenching. And by coupling the heartbreak themes with smoothly detailed acoustic guitar strumming/plucking, they're stripped away of any pretense and left, bare-boned and stunning.

If you can't tell, I really dig this record. It's personal, it's simple (in regards to the minimal accompaniment), and the songs are fantastic. "D Tune Drop" was a staple of Pete's live acoustic sets when I used to see him in the early 2000's, and it never failed to put a smile on my face when I really needed one. And though all of these songs can be both depressing and uplifting, they're never boring.

It was (and still is) great to hear a guy who had spent his whole career (as far as we knew) wrenching away at a guitar take a step back and roll out some songs that weren't meant to be played with a "rock band." I could go through and talk about each of these songs individually, but it'd get too involved. And besides: they're all great.

I don't know if this CD is still readily floating around, but if you need a great partner for the dark and dreary fall, this is a safe bet.

I'm having a hard time finding any full songs, but you can listen to a few clips here.

1 comment:

Biff Pocaroba said...

I bought this on cassette when it came out and was shocked, and I mean shocked, to find out that it was a sensitive acoustic album. Up to this point Pete had always been a loud rocker and the sudden shift seemed drastic. Looking back who knew that I would eventually grow to think of it odd that Pete would have ever rocked. Oh how the times change.

Anyways I immediately loved this cassette. Would I have loved it if it wasn't Pete from Hazel? Who knows? The important thing is that Pete made it okay to listen to wuss music in '95. It wasn't just some lame old guy with an acoustic, this was Pete Krebs.

As for the album, every song is great. Personal favorites of mine are "D Tune Drop," "Bad Penny," "Spider In My Gin," and "Shytown." I have no idea what "D Tune Drop" is about but I swear it makes me want to weep every time I hear it. It also sounds like Pete is really feeling it. Actually it sounds like Pete is really feeling every song on here and not in some contrived emo way. The man was truly living in a Shytown.

A band I was in in college called Pretty To Look At covered "Spider In My Gin" at our first show. I played the bass. Holla!