Et Tu Brucé is the dynamic pop group that hails from Hanwell, a West London suburb. The band consists of four members: Jamie White (guitar, vocals), Matthew O'Toole (guitar, vocals), Darryn Bruce (bass) and Craig Bruce (drums). Suburban Sunshine is their debut album.
Taking a spin around Suburban Sunshine, my overall impression was that is a pop album with lots of catchy beats. Interestingly, there is an alternating theme of heartfelt introspection and a subversive wit throughout the album. At times, it appears to be quite cliché, but add in the harmonized pop feel, and you have an album that really pulls it together. The portions dig into the listener’s psyche and really stick in your mind.
“Dress Me Up In Bruises” is the first song on the album. It revs up with a solid percussion element, keyboards that really hum and upbeat guitar riffs. The vocals are harmonized and for most of the song, I wondered at whether this piece was about abuse or if the theme was more along the lines of a submissive male obsessing over the marks on his body and looking forward to the next scene with his Dominant. The title is a bit of juxtaposition, as it could really fall either way. It was a bit of a mystery, but a compelling song that really made me want to hear the rest of the album…comparable to a really good novel that hooked you after a couple of pages. You’re not exactly sure, but you are itching to find out more.
“Never See You Cry” is a lament to losing someone to addiction. The harmonized vocals really capture the heartfelt desire to help the loved one, but unable to bring them past whatever devastation has trapped them in a prison of substance abuse. Guitar riffs, keyboards, percussion and vocals blend to craft an image of love and desperation that makes this piece catchy and one that will stick in your mind.
“Stars Fall Down” begins with guitar picking that gathers you in and as the mellow vocals queue up, the song really takes off. A miasma of sound, the harmony is seamless, composition flawless and all four band members are playing in tandem. This is what pop music should sound like. Guitar riffs blending with vocals that capture your heart and imagination. Excellent song!
Suburban Sunshine is the first album for Et Tu Brucé, but it all comes together very well. Some of the more sarcastic and cliché songs like “Never Say Trevor Again” and “The Turning of the Screw” are a whole lot of fun to listen to, but as always, it’s introspective and thought provoking songs that really capture my attention. “Dress Me Up In Bruises” is the perfect example of this. Even after listening to the song several times, it is still a mystery. The best songs delve into the heart of the listener, and you craft a story that means something to you. That is what good music does. It inspires. Et Tu Brucé is pop with a sometimes heartfelt and other times witty twist. If you love pop bands with a British flair, give this group a shot.
Key Tracks: Stars Fall, Dress Me Up In Bruises, Never Seen You Cry
July 27, 2012