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Brooks, Aaron: Homunculus

United States psychedelic/retro rock band Simeon Soul Charger garnered quite the following in Germany, recording their second (Harmony Square) and third (A Trick Of The Light) albums there. The band took up residence in Bavaria but unfortunately singer/songwriter Aaron Brooks left the band in 2016 which eventually led to the band’s demise. Of course one should always try to look at the bright side which in this case is a debut solo album from Brooks titled Homunculus. The great news is Homunulus is a wonderful disc, one I am enjoying more which each successive listen.

The album contains a varied amount of styles, ranging from singer/songwriter to pop to psychedelic tinged art rock. The disc begins with “Consume”, a nice little slice of slightly discordant pop music. Great vocals set against a minimalistic soundscape. That is until a psych infused guitar workout adds some heaviness. The guitar work is very effective against Brooks’ catchy vocal arrangement. On the beautifully poignant “You’re Just A Picture In A Frame” Brooks’ singer/songwriter approach absolutely shines with brilliance with its lovely piano and vocal melodies. Its one of the most infectious and moving pieces on the album with a lovely guitar solo as well. On “Wake Up The Mountain” the piano carries a hint of dissonance, just enough to catch the ear. There is a wistful balladic quality here before dramatic bursts of guitars add some progginess. With “Everybody Dies” the music is witty and dynamic art rock, a good match for the disparaging lyrics.

Perhaps my favourite track is “Lies”. Shimmering keyboards and an almost country tinge in the guitar lead to Floydian-like soundscapes of the early ‘70s, quite psychedelic and progressive as the guitar and keyboards slowly drift through their paces. A dramatic burst of punk-like heaviness ends the song in dramatic fashion.

The album ending “Digital” with its lush lead and backing vocals and sweeping keyboards is another great and highly addictive track.

This quirky brand of art rock and psychedelic tinged pop music continues through the rest of the disc. I highly recommend you give it a spin.

The players are:
Aaron Brooks (vocals, guitars)
Beni Wiedemann (piano, keyboards)
Max Huber (drums)
Stefan Rossinger (guitars)
Joachim Schwarz (bass)
Susi Rieger (violin)
Isabel Schlegel (cello)

Guest musicians:
Kalle Wallner (guitar, bass)
Yogi Lang (keyboards)
Hansi Enzensperger (keyboards)
Peter Savee (banjo)
Karl Muskini (trombone)

Track Listing:
1. Consume (4:00)
2. You’re Just A Picture In A Frame (2:48)
3. Wake Up In The Mountain (3:54)
4. Everybody Dies (3:17)
5. Lies (5:38)
6. Jesus (4:14)
7. By Your Halo Or The Fork Of Your Tongue (3:04)
8. Nobody Knows What It’s Like To Be Someone Else (4:21)
9. The Idiot (5:24)
10. Bodega, Bodega (3:00)
11. I’m Afraid (2:53)
12. What Is A Man But An Animal’s End (1:59)
13. Digital (3:17)

Added: December 8th 2018
Reviewer: Jon Neudorf
Related Link: Artist's Official Site
Hits: 1136
Language: english

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