CC Brez is an Irish singer and guitarist, familiar to most as the guitarist from Republic of Loose. Relaunching a few months ago as CC Brez, he’s put together an EP of finely crafted grooves, entitled Her Alibi. Having debuted the EP in Whelans, the future is an open road for Brez.
Opening with the title track and current single, Brez starts off strong. Kicking off with a vocal sample and a piano loop not unlike something from a David Guetta style track, the song is already an infectious groove and the beat hasn’t even started yet. Instead of an obnoxious, chest-breaking kick drum, we’re treated to a smooth verse, vocally and instrumentally. The guitar playing is simplistic, letting itself blend into the track as a whole. The chorus brings in the vocal sample from the intro again and the drumming switches to a clean dance beat. Throughout, the bass is a welcome sensation, rolling along and filling out the spaces the high guitar and Brez’s own high vocals leave behind.
On the next track, “She’s Cold”, the drum intro is a little lacking. For such high quality recording elsewhere, the drum sounds are very like an old Roland drum machine from the 80s. The drums match with the rest of the band, synths included, that drop shortly after, creating a very 80s sounding soundscape, a prevalent sound on the whole EP. This song in particular evokes comparisons to Wham! for me, though I’m not sure how CC Brez would feel about that. The post-chorus sees the drums fall away, letting the bass and piano take over while guitars and vocals hold down a nice rhythm and melody. A beautifully groovy song, something that can and probably will be said about every track on Her Alibi.
The brass on “We’re Not Here For A Long Time” is a welcome introduction to the sound of the EP. While still groovy (I checked the thesaurus for an alternate word – I got nothing), it’s a lot more mellow than the previous tracks. Brez is singing about having a good time, with lines like; “come on man, can we get high?”, urging us to embrace life and live a little. The song ends on a nice high, getting bigger and bigger with more guitar riffs and more backing vocals, before fading away nicely, not overstaying its welcome.
Ending on “The Mighty Fall”, it’s as much of a ballad as we’ll get from CC Brez and his band. Listening to the lyrics, it’s hard not to think he’s singing about his old success with Republic of Loose, a once successful band who’ve since dilapidated. With lines like; “another year, another past, we get together, raise a glass”, it brings a certain nostalgia, maybe hinting at Brez’s bittersweet desire to leave the band behind and go solo. This track features some of the better guitar work, where the solos really let themselves go, tremendously mixed into the rest of the track. Not overbearing, not hidden, just right.
As a whole package, the Her Alibi EP starts strong, but starts to wane towards the end, ending on the slowest song of the bunch. Not how I would have done it, but then, I’m not a funk songwriter virtuoso like CC Brez. For some easy listening, for some dancing, for some grooving (last use of that word, I promise), this is the perfect EP.
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