sub-morphine alt-country songwriter

Austin Chronicle Review

Chris Brecht & Dead Flowers

Dead Flower Motel

Chris Brecht’s 2008 debut, The Great Ride, saddled up Dylan with convincing, if overly indebted, promise. The local songwriter’s sophomore album proves he’s capable of rising to the next rung. With a crack band that calls upon members of Austin’s new roots scene (the Happen-Ins, Deadman, Ricky Ray Jackson’s ubiquitous pedal steel), Brecht finds the right accents to his lazy drawl. Opener “Hollywood” cracks and crawls with a biting disillusion, and the belting whine of “Don’t Take It So Hard” cuts. When Brecht holds a note, it can ache like Townes Van Zandt. The disc’s production and Andrew Hernandez’s mixing inspire equally, from the warped atmospherics of “Wish You” to the subtle piano pull of “Blue Thunder.” Underlying bass on the rolling “Not Where You Are” and the banjo-licked kick of “Livin’ Twice as Hard” direct toward Tweedy-level inspiration as Brecht buries wonderfully delicate moments into the nooks of each song. Dead Flower Motel, plant yourself.

***.5

doug freeman

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