Br’er: Of Shemales & Kissaboos (Album Review)

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The first release I received of Br’er in the mail from Edible Onion was shocking. On vinyl, the album was tucked into a nice, hand-made cover featuring the nether-region of a nude male body with large garden clippers hiding the member. To be honest, I’m kind of glad Of Shemales & Kissaboos is similar in nature.

Br’er is, at times, playful. But not playful in the traditional pop sense; instead, it’s what you’d expect from Jamie Stewart (Xiu Xiu) were he to take a lighter approach to creating music. Songs like “Lapin” and “I’m A Kid Again” go this direction, while others like “Spearhead’s Sister” and “Rory Snake Handler” are grating with ear-piercing screeches.

Of Shemales & Kissaboos may be Br’er’s latest release; in actuality it is the band’s debut, delayed for several years from seeing light in the U.S. The album was recorded between 2006 and 2007 in a variety of Philadelphia-based houses.

The sound is quite distinct, and it’s one that carried into Br’er’s following work. Noted by Edible Onion, Benjamin Schurr describes the album as “an audio coping mechanism” that was necessary to emerge and recover from seven years of prescription medication, sporadic homelessness, and abusive relationships.

Things start to make sense, in a very terrifying yet real way. Of Shemales & Kissaboos is extremely personal, a baring of Schurr’s soul, and a glimpse into the mind of one capable of creating a very unique blend of pop, noise and classical music.

Though self-released, Of Shemales & Kissaboos is available come August 9 via Edible Onion.

Download: “Emily The Bear” by Br’er

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[CD, 2011]

1. I’m a Kid Again
2. Maven
3. I’m Sorry Mom
4. Rory Snake Handler
5. Spearhead’s Sister
6. Lapin
7. Glory Hole
8. Are We Still Married
9. Abscess Marked Return
10. Emily the Bear

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