December National Music Reviews

Review: Brief Lives – Whistleblower 7”

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Brief Lives
Whistleblower 7”
Self-Released
Street: 03.19
Brief Lives = Fugazi + Q and Not U
Not that there’s any shortage of vinyl right now, but a black, plastic disc with two songs (one on each side) that actually spins at 45 rpm feels like a throwback to an era that Brief Lives’ sound calls to—early to mid ’90s. There’s nothing wrong with being slightly out-of-date when you call back to the right era. I can appreciate what they’re doing, but it’s not sticking out enough to take over my playlist. The straightforward and simple A-side, “Whistleblower,” drags (and yes, I double-checked the turntable’s speed selection). The gentle yell of the vocals would suit me better at a few more BPMs. I prefer the B-side, “No Voice.” This track captures the DC punk sound better by slightly upping the speed with a steady thumping beat and quick guitar creating the backing the vocals call for. –Steve Richardson
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