Sunday, February 28, 2016
Brandon Butler Heno Private 2012
Brandon Butler of Boy's Life released this on colored wax in 2012 as what appears to be a self-funded, private release. Butler had moved to the D.C. area after Boy's Life disbanded years ago and made great friends. J. Robbins of Jawbox fame helped record and produce the album along with some other D.C. area players.
However, as cool as the East Coast is, this album sounds awfully Midwest. Heno is bordering between the alt. country sounds of and 90's No Depression scene and the American Cosmic sounds of Gene Clark. While DC is cool, perhaps an extended visit back to the Heartland could have brought a bit more space and loneliness, but regardless, it's a very good album.
It's surprising that no one cares about this release. There's still Boy's Life/Farewell Bend fans out there and all you can find on the LP is, "Is this any good?" on webboards. It's very good. The fuckers asking should just buy it already. The track "Dear Assassin" is just as perfect as anything found on the Canyon LP's. It's spread out and lonely, get's big at the end, it's an amazing song.
The only faults to the album are it's length, it's just 7 tracks, with lots of room to spare. Also, Butler's vocals do sometimes sound a little high and out of place on some of his country outings, it works well with the spread out songs, but the more uptempo tracks, the vocals need a bit more depth.
It'd be a shame if this was the last thing Butler puts out. Personally, I have this grandiose idea he should return to Kansas City with a grip of songs and just get everyone around to put out a double LP. A KC allstar outing of American Cosmic recordings, sure, like this, I bet no one would care, but it'd be the type of thing that becomes legendary years later.
Dear Assassin Live Recording