Et Tu Bruce and Ex Norwegian

Et Tu Brucé

Et Tu Brucé “Et Tu Brucé”

Despite having a terrific debut with Suburban Sunshine over 2 years ago, this British group’s sophomore LP has slipped quietly under the radar. The self-titled sophomore release slowly fades in with “The Light,” a Creedence-styled rocker with dense layers of crisp electric guitars and smooth harmonies. And the complexity increases with “Make Up My Mind,” a gem with multiple vocal layers all played to a simple melody. While brilliantly performed, these songs unfortunately don’t tend to stick in your head for long.

Luckily there are several exceptions. One of the best tunes here is “Hey Blue” with its sunshine-filled strumming and the sweet chord shifts on the melodic “How Do You Ever?” Unlike the debut, the influences are less power pop and more spread around (although the ‘70s California style is dominant). The bands musicianship is beyond question, as each tune has subtle details that pop fans will gravitate to. It may be a case of the band trying to do too much, but I’d keep my eye on these London lads.


Ex Norwegian

Ex Norwegian “Glazer/Hazerr”

Roger Houdaille and Lucia Perez are back with a decidedly more fuzzed out garage effort on Glazer/Hazerr. The anthemic “Life” is something that would’ve fit nicely on an Outrageous Cherry LP (I still miss the Rainbow Quartz label.) The reverb drenched “Reverse” is another highlight of this 60’s influenced album. Houdaille’s echoing vocals harken back to the classic era of melodic song writing on the simple riff driven gems “Sensation” and “Modern Art Brigade.” Perez gives a spirited vocal solo on “Father Goose” that sounds like a lost Jefferson Airplane single. While it doesn’t exactly break new ground, this is a good album and will fit nicely in your retro pop collection.