Stop that Bandcamp search for now and listen to Brandon Can't Dance.Lucky Number Music, 2017
8.0 / 10
After the recent success of artists like Will Toledo (aka Car Seat Headrest) and Alexander Giannascoli, (aka Alex G.), you’d have to believe labels are frantically searching Bandcamp to find the next big indie voice. One such voice could be Brandon Ayres, aka Brandon Can’t Dance, whose music was introduced to his label via the aforementioned Alex G. Like Alex G. and Car Seat Headrest, the music of Brandon Can’t Dance is eclectic, pulling from a variety of influences and unwilling to stop at one rock sub-genre. On Graveyard of Good Times’ 16 songs, Ayres tries his hand at post-punk, distorted rock, and synth pop while probably creating a new genre in the process. Sixteen songs sounds like a tall order, but the good times that are promised by the album’s title are certainly met.
Perhaps most noticeable about Ayres’ music is that he’s having a fun time with it. In the album’s press release, Ayres said, “A lot of my songs have subtle humor in them whether it’s musically, like an intentionally cheesy or sloppy guitar riff, or vocally, like forcefully singing really high and clearly channelling some inner pop star.” Some critics could say Ayres is using this as an out in case his music sounds like shit, but Graveyard of Good Times sounds more polished than many of Ariel Pink’s songs even when he’s experimenting (which is probably the album’s full runtime). “Where My Boys At” combines the anthemic songwriting of Bruce Springsteen with lackadaisical synth pop and tops it off with a funny line, “Where my boys at/ Where my girls at/ Get some pizza.” “Angelina” lands with a more stark, confessional tone ala Sun Kil Moon’s Benji and sounds badass. Then you’ve got the album opener “Headspace” that will fill your head with crunchy, distorted thrills. Graveyard of Good Times is a strange, ever-changing journey that you’ll definitely want to be a part of.