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  Death & Taxes EP
Artist: Brandtson
Label: Deep Elm
Length: 6 tracks, 19:04

Death & Taxes is Brandtson's follow-up to the full-length Dial in Sounds release from early last year. On this outing the band goes more into the area of straight ahead rock and roll, while not straying far from the musical roots that have made previous releases succeed.

The album's six songs flow together into a cohesive collection of feel good indie rock music that should work well for summer driving. However, the words "feel good" and "indie rock" are ones that generally don't mix too well and it will be interesting to see how the band's fan base may shift a bit as a result of this release.

Most likely, the "feel good" aspect comes from the rather light-hearted lyrics. There are a couple of very impressive lines, but many that come off as substance-less and sometimes even cheesy. The most impressive lyric has to be from "On Three": "Don't give in to all those voices that are telling you about past failures, killing you before you've had your chance to live." "In the Pills" also has a rather personal feel: "You're so turned on by tragedy. I'm broke in two so come love me." Otherwise, the lyrics are the area that holds the album back.
Obviously, since this is an EP it's going to be short, but still the 19 minute length will leave most listeners feeling a bit unfulfilled. Death & Taxes is a decent release, but it doesn't provide quite as much to appreciate as previous album from Brandtson. Hopefully this is just a short detour in Brandtson's journey as a band and not too representative of future material.

Trae Cadenhead  5/26/2003


Trae Cadenhead is a student at Union University. He is pursuing a Digital Media Studies major with a Film Studies minor and plans to become involved in film making following school. Trae also has an enormous interest in music. Along with writing for the Tollbooth, Trae maintains Loconotion (, a digital archive of his thoughts on music and movies as well as a gallery of the art and video work he is doing.
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