Broken Beak - Some Nerve
Broken Beak's earliest material was an apartment. What was once the solo project of Philadelphia artist Beau Brynes contrasted complex, character-driven storytelling with intimate acoustic backdrops. Neither element took up much room, but for one person, the goods occupied enough space to justify an expansion.
With that said, Some Nerve is Brynes' long-deserved house, with new roommates to meet and plenty of square footage to explore. Drummer Jeff Malt and bassist Evan Moorehead fill out tracks with a rhythm section capable of being both sturdy and sinister, while Brynes and Brendan Lukens' intersecting guitar lines tangle atop it all. Overseeing this close-knit unit is long-time Broken Beak producer Jacob Ewald (Modern Baseball) who makes sense of this raw, full-bodied sound with a guiding hand. What results is a freshly built, but strong foundation. Brynes' lyrical portraits, while retaining their darkness and surreal narratives, are boosted by an electric upgrade that is neither too fiery nor too forced. On Some Nerve, a family has been formed, with a returning relative in Ewald, but exciting new members to give Brynes' journey -- once traveled alone -- a new context and charged voice.