Despite the creepy implications of their name, Brown Recluse is far from such dark arachnid qualities in their music. Instead they rely on pop, and at that, psychedelic pop laden with airy vocals and crisp instruments. Ironically, many happy and jubilant sounds are produced from this band on Evening Tapestry.
Starting off with “Hobble To Your Tomb,” Brown Recluse begins on a high note. As one of the more interesting numbers on this album, it serves its pertinent job of making me want to see where this band is going to go for the rest of the album. It builds gradually, with short spurts of organ-like synth, and stop and go styling. The horn work at the end creates such promise. Seriously who doesn’t love horn work? However, the song doesn’t really go anywhere; much like the rest of the songs as a whole.
While this album is chalk full of groovy pop tunes, it just won’t make the transition between good and great to me. Perhaps it is the blandness of the lead vocals; they suit the music, but at the same time there isn’t that disparity that allows for some noticeable separation of instruments and singing. It doesn’t command your attention, but lets you wander a little ways off, and it’s easy to get distracted from the tunes that are brightly playing away. The same goes for the shortness in each of the songs, which, sadly, but inevitably causes them all to sound similar.
Despite it’s one-note-nature, Evening Tapestry still has its moments. Such moments occur on numbers like “Impressions of a City Morning,” that starts with some quick, yet soft drums, and follows with the jingle-jangle of a tambourine. At some points during this number, I get the feeling of some old Belle and Sebastian song, chalked full of that story-telling diction and delicate vocal qualities that Stuart Murdoch does so well. Another stand out comes on “Monday Moon,” that relies on jangly guitars and the slight wail of some funky synthesizer to spin a poppy tune.
To be honest, most of the songs on this album are likable; there just isn’t enough variety in general to warrant excellence or even longevity. As I listen to this over and over, I just can’t latch onto hardly any of the songs. They run their course and then are done, becoming forgettable. Instead of falling in love with Brown Recluse, I feel more so like being their friend; I’m not quite ready to spend all my time with them, but hanging out every once and a while could be alright.
Evening Tapestry is out now on Slumberland Records.