This is a review of "This is Future-Wave" recorded by Brazil. The review was written by Dave Sugden in 2001.
The year is 1996. Suede release "Coming Up" and Louis Elliott appears to be contemplating his future with indie-underground band Kinky Machine, prior to his move to front Rialto; throughout this era of Britpop, four boys from Yorkshire are sitting together thinking of a name for their new band: "How about Brazil?" comes a suggestion. "Nice one" - the decision is made, finalised and promotion done *.
A few months later someone mentions to them that there is a country with the same name - "Bugger", think the lads, believing they'd come across an original, funky, carnival even, name.
Sounds unlikely? Yet, the band's literature states they are not named after a country.
So the boys, having sat around in the mid-nineties gaining influences for their new guitar based band, begin writing some songs. And today, "This is Future-Wave" is the result.
Opening track "Pornstar" reminds me too many times of the pre-mentioned era, especially the bands mentioned above; in fact, simply imagine Kinky Machine doing a cover of Suede's "Filmstar". But it's good, and a decent opener to a very strong, if somewhat dated, CD.
"Flatline" is next and is a track I remember from their live performances, mainly because of the gimmickry of holding a distinctive flat line towards the end of the song, as well as the drums being based around a heartbeat. "Flatline" is imaginative, very original and quite a racy, guitar-pop song. The only difference between the recorded version and the live version is that after the flatline the CD closes with a mental blast, something that was wanted live but not delivered. A very catchy song.
The best track on the CD is third. "This Song Will Save Your Life" is still based around the same Britpop era, but this is far better. In fact, it is closer to some of the tracks that are now breaking through onto the national radio again. For bouncy, radio-friendly comparisons imagine Feeder's recent offering.
"Can't Afford You" is again similar in style, but not as good; "Put It Around" is again radio-friendly, but much slower.
"Girlfriend" closes the CD off, and is another Britpop track, delivered with almost Blur-esque vocals. This is probably the second best song behind "This Song...".
Six or seven years ago, the nation would be shouting "Brazil, Brazil" and not because the mighty football team were on the TV, because this is a well-produced and well-targeted CD. The recent revival for guitar bands on a national scale may see a return for bands like this to shine. Unless, of course, the nation goes over the edge and demands a more nu-metal touch to their guitar music. It's being threatened.
Anyway, Brazil's hopes lie in the marketability of their 90's Fierce Panda Britpop sound and let's hope the chance opens up for them. One of the things that is noticeable is that they have songs in depth, enough for them to release a six-track EP - they're obviously prepared if any interest is shown.
* Made up, may not have happened.