Bradley Wik And The Charlatans
Burn What You Can, Bury The Rest
The sun rising warmly over a cold landscape is the mental imagery I get as the first track begins on the Alt-country album from Bradley Wik and the Charlatans. Bradley Wik's vocals are so earnest and jaded at the same time. And the slow acoustic strumming of the guitar sets a laid back but emotional back drop to accompany the sleepy mood of the track. The guitars pick up for one mild injection of bombast before the song resumes its calm ramblings. 66 Chevelle is fueled with a little more rock to boost the emotional angst of the track and sounds like a smooth marriage of Tom Petty and Counting Crows. The gently swaying country-folk feel of This Old House sets it above the rest of the tracks on this album, both emotionally and in terms of catchiness. I feel my toes tapping and my head nodding as those dual male/female vocals and soft guitar tones dance through my ears. One again I sense a subdued Counting Crows influence on the country infused track, She Will Never Return To Me. Its deliberate pacing and meandering fretwork add a sense of nostalgia to the journey. As Friday Night Is For The Drinkers begins you can detect a hint of Bryan Adams within the simple strumming and rock build-up of the chorus. It's hard not to get wrapped up in the album's final track, Just Like Jon Fickes. An air of sorrow and yearning permeates the folkier John Cougar Mellencamp infused alt-rock song. The lyrics speak to a sense of tragedy, of love and loss and the music softly imposes those emotions upon your consciousness. Bradley Wik and the Charlatans have taken worn hands and crafted an album of jaded and nostalgic beauty. The alt-country compositions on this album really speak to a soft, tragic place within me, the same place that pop-punk ballads and The Smiths dwell.