Tom Brosseau’s latest release Grass Punks is everything that a folk album spanning thirty minutes should be. It isn’t exactly ground-breaking, it isn’t exactly “favorite album” material, but it is definitely worth a listen for anyone interested in folk.
It’s quick run-time makes it the perfect album for a night in. The highlight of Grass Punks is undoubtedly Brosseau’s guitar-style, bringing the perfect amount of twang to his crystal voice. It isn’t overly complicated, but it shows off his skills through its understated confidence. Personally, his style of melodic picking overshadows the lyrics of his songs and as the mixing of the album suggests, it should not be overlooked. The chord progression in “Stuck On The Roof Again” follows the melody with confidence and grace and adds a depth to what could be type-casted.
Lyrically, this album is unimpressive. Perhaps it’s the lack of attachment between the emotion expressed in the melody and the subject he’s singing about, or the fact that the album’s mixing is a bit off—too much treble, not enough differentiation in volume between guitar and vocals. I found it difficult to lament the narrator’s grief or celebrate his happiness.
More than anything, I just want to hear Tom Brosseau’s guitar. As a whole, Grass Punks successfully fulfills the role of decent folk album. As mentioned before, it’s the perfect album for a date with a novel and a warm cup of tea and is worth checking out for fans of the genre.