This Martin Crane article was written by Alexander Beard, a GIGsoup contributor. Edited by Siobhan Scarlett.
The debut solo work of Brazos frontman Martin Crane is a frequently upbeat and resonating production, an undoubtedly interesting effort with live performance mixed with additional re-recorded material. ‘Physical Therapy’ is difficult to fix down for the numerous directions it takes you towards, all of which are interesting but do frequently feel fragile.
An at-times cheesy synth pop, almost chiptune debut, it is a definite guilty pleasure of silky melodies. When this is coupled with the flexible and whimsical vocal ability of Martine Crane ‘Physical Therapy’ is incredibly satisfying; but is still a near miss effort.
‘Physical Therapy’ opens up into the buoyant track ‘Amanda’s House’, heavy with synthesized Caribbean style steel drums it speeds up into mesh of dreamy choral accompaniment. As complex as the production feels, it is a simple and infectious introduction.
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The EP’s namesake track ‘Physical Therapy’ is by far the cheesiest, but probably the sweetest in the album’s crown. A slow and echoing set of vocals, backed by an almost 80’s movie saxophone setting, it is a glorious creation. Thick with catchy vocal melodies ‘Physical Therapy’s’ ending line “silently tender, call it like it is” bows out gracefully into the mist of the accompaniment.
As positive as this appears, the EP is still not without issues. Not the worst thing to have, but Martin Crane seems to spread so many ideas across in songs such as ‘Gunk of Stars’. It doesn’t stop the track from having good moments, jumping constantly between interesting progressions. Often what it arrives, it resonates, but the frequency this is done at can be jarring and unfortunately often holds it back.
‘Physical Therapy’ is a debut that continues to display Martin Crane’s wide range of influences, as well as evidently developing the ability to arrange complex and happy memory inducing songs. However it frequently feels delicate from the effort to pursue these many directions. However bittersweet it is, the EP is a promising beginning to solo efforts by Martin Crane.
Physical Therapy is out now via Inscape.