Wednesday, March 21, 2012

its sincere songs may surprise even its sturdiest skeptics

Bradley Wik And The Charlatans – Burn What You Can, Bury The Rest – Review

The alt country, heavily-bearded, acoustic nomad Bradley Wik has been traveling the country with his humble strings and down-to-earth stories, playing shows where ever people will listen. This turned out to be perfect proving ground for his latest, 8 track, “full-length,” “Burn What You Can, Bury The Rest” which plays more like a lengthy EP, but features more honesty and gritty authenticity than many other solo artist’s morosely, convoluted, full-lengths.
The crooned vivid imagery, lightly strummed beginnings,and modest bridge solo of the albums opener “The Dark Lovely“ moisten our pallet for the enjoyable slow burn of untouched guitars and ripe storytelling. Leading directly into the reminiscing song “66′ Chevelle,” having Brad belt out Midwest sensibilities and endearing tales of early love and the journeys of your first car. It seems that “Burn What You Can, Bury The Rest” plays like a maturing vision of ones past, present, and future — from the calming guitar strumming and beautifully female backed vocals of Brianne Kathleen in “This Old House” to the heavy accented lyrics (“Those Midwest “whinters” will suck your soul away“), awkwardly place accenting shredding madness, and bar-friendly sing-a-long of “Midwest Winters,” the telling pulls from personal experiences add a layer of lush authenticity which seems to have been lost on most modern singer/songwriters.

So while this record may be a sparse 8 tracks long, a quality over quantity method has been established, with the 8+ minute album closer “Just Like Jon Fickes” finishing off the album much the way it begin, with a patient and plentiful journey of drunken fret mastery and touching vocals. If you need an honest record with more than just an acoustic front, Bradley Wik supplies more with an air of Ryan Adams combined with experimental strings, painting an engrossing picture of all things Midwest. This stripped-down intimate effort isn’t for everyone, as the folk elements may have some turned off, but if you let it in, “Burn What You Can, Bury The Rest” and its sincere songs may surprise even its sturdiest skeptics. [Staff]

Score: 3.75 (out of 5)

Release Date: January 2012
Record Label: None
Genre: Alt Country
RIYL: Set Your Goals, The Wonder Years, Me Vs. Hero
Track Listing:
1. The Dark Lovely
2. ’66 Chevelle
3. This Old House
4. Midwest Winters
5. She Will Never Return to Me
6. Friday Night is for the Drinkers
7. I am not Afraid
8. Just Like Jon Fickes

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