Brick + Mortar wonderfully combine genres

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Natalie Larimer

Brick + Mortar’s performed their album “Bangs” Feb. 24 at Wooly’s.

Natalie Larimer, Online Sub-Editor

I had the opportunity to go see my favorite band, Motion City Soundtrack, in concert Feb. 24. The whole concert experience was amazing for many different reasons, but one of them was that Brick + Mortar opened for Motion City and completely blew me away.

I was very surprised with Brick + Mortar’s performance. They played first and William Beckett followed them, but he was not nearly as memorable. Brick + Mortar, however, were great. I’ve never heard them before that concert and usually I need to listen to a song three or four times before I form an opinion on it, but with Brick + Mortar I decided very quickly. They were incredible. Their drummer was energetic and massively talented and the songs were lyrically and musically advanced for an opening act.

I bought their CD, “Bangs,” and have been listening to them since. There are only seven songs on the album, but they are all amazing that it makes up for it. Frontman Brandon Asraf seems the type of guy you would peg with a ukulele singing, “Somewhere Over the Rainbow” but he surpasses all expectations. He and drummer Josh Tacon have created an indie/punk/rock sound and it works. It’s actually very fun to listen to.

On top of the catchy tunes, their lyrics are really thought provoking and meaningful. I admire bands that tackle real topics other than “I saw this girl who was pretty and then she broke my heart and now I’m singing.” Brick + Mortar sings honestly and doesn’t sugarcoat anything. When they introduced their title-track “Bangs” on Tuesday, Asraf said, “This song is about how when you hit rock bottom and have nothing left to lose, that means you have everything in the world to gain.” I don’t know about you, but I’m an addict for songs written for a purpose. I can’t get enough of it. When you add in the fact that they are great musicians, it’s the perfect addition to my CD collection.

Now, keep in mind I have limited experiences with live shows, but, I think Brick + Mortar might be one of those rare bands who are actually better live. Asraf is funny and full of life when he sings and when he talks between songs. He explained what some of the songs are about before he sang them which gave them a nice build-up that they followed through with a great song. He got the whole crowd to jump and attempt to sing along with songs they’d never heard before.

Their album “Bangs” has most of the songs they played live, including “Terrible Things,” “Keep This Place Beautiful,” and “Locked In A Cage.” I love them all and would not hesitate to go see them live again. I am deeply regretting not buying their other album. I award them with an ‘A’ for being amazing and not an ‘A+’ because sometimes they seem too repetitive for my taste (but not much).