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Braid: I'm Afraid Of Everything
Emo 7" vinyl
Polyvinyl / Grand Theft Autumn (1996, PRC-008 / #1)
I paid $4.50 for this record.
Rating
(4/5: great)

I've listened to a number of Braid songs in my days, but never material this early in their repertoire. I must say, I think Radish White Icicle might be my new favorite Braid song. It starts as a twinkly instrumental. Dark, sparse and minor key. A lonely trumpet lurks deep in the cut. A while in, some spoken word even deeper in the mix starts to creep in. A slow build is happening without you quite realizing it. Waves of clean guitar pushing into distortion and then suddenly the track wakes up and everyone is overlapping their anguished yelling. As soon as it begins, the frustration and anguish ends. The trumpet draws out one last melody and the needle passes into the runout groove.

The B-side songs are closer to the Braid you've come to know and love and are definitely more pop and accessible than Radish. I'm Afraid Of Everything cues up the pretty, dueling guitar parts that make up much of the latter Braid offerings. The "chorus" is a blasting dynamic change that dies into a quiet bass/drum moment. This abrupt volume change is a signature of this mid-90's hardcore-influenced sound. That and the FANTASTIC use of the bell of the cymbal in the small spaces between the phrases of vocals and guitar waves. It all comes to an abrupt and jarring end before the second B-side starts.

Now I'm Exhausted is a post-five mile walk song. Trudging along, it lives up to it's name, pausing and lingering. Sparse and building to a screaming climax and then all of the layers chime in under the torment of young Bob Nanna repeating "It's mine." The down from the anguish to a beautiful little outro.

This is a great record. It's interesting and passionate. The production leaves me wanting, but the songs are great. I'm so old I'm tempted to say something like, "They just don't make them like this anymore." Perhaps, somewhere, they still do, though.

Tracks:
A. Radish White Icicle
B1. I'm Afraid Of Everything
B2. Now I'm Exhausted

Last updated: 03/30/2014
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