Brandon Wiard, Painting A Burning Building

Brandon Wiard, <em>Painting A Burning Building</em>

Brandon Wiard’s a man who doesn’t know what he wants to be. Sardonic alternativiste? Expansive art-rocker? Evan Dando-esque sensitive pretty boy? Wiard dips his wick into all of them on Painting A Burning Building, but he’s most likely to end up the latter, thanks in part to a voice that sounds like Dando with a flatter delivery. The songs that come closest to sticking show Wiard flexing his pop craftsman muscles, but it turns out that he’s not much for heavy lifting; the constant alternation between acoustic quietness and electric guitars in “Miss Michigan,” the Reggie and the Full Effect-like piano figure in the mid-tempo “Caroline” and the twelve-string guitar and Del Shannon feel of “I’ll Write These Songs” can’t disguise the uniform thinness of the songs. Elsewhere, Wiard shares his lead vocal with Kara Dupuy in the Mates Of State-like (but not Mates Of State-level) “Moving On” and transforms “Since You’ve Gone Away” from a plaintive pop tune into a speedy, heavy-bassed hard rock song in its last 15 seconds or so. By the time he’s hit the multi-part “Old Heartless Sun,” which is like TV On The Radio and Pink Floyd having sex in the hopes of popping out another “A Quick One While He’s Away,” it sounds like Wiard’s just throwing out anything and everything he can think of in the hopes that something will stick.

(Cerberus Records -- P.O. Box 335, Tecumseh, MI. 49286; http://www.cerberusrecords.com/; Brandon Wiard -- http://www.brandonwiard.com/)
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Review by . Review posted Saturday, October 1st, 2005. Filed under Reviews.

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