by | Jul 11, 2012 | Reviews

“Seattle outfit more than just a Pearl Jam side project”

United We Stand

Seattle, WA

(Razor & Tie)

Beginning with the opening track “Miles of Rope,” Brad launches from their Seattle roots with their fifth album, United We Stand. Music that is passionate, compelling and wholly satisfying, here one is greeted with sustaining lead guitars, riveting percussion and sultry bass lines, as this project delivers a grand epic. One of the few remaining bands from Seattle’s grunge days of the early ’90s, Brad is led by Pearl Jam guitarist Stone Gossard, who creates glorious patterns and notes in his solos in a palette that is both colorful and dynamic.

“Bound in Time” has a beautiful verse to chorus structure, complete with harmonies that bring peace and calm to the listeners. The song ends with a repeating phrase, “All that we’ve got is ticking away/If you know what I mean,” a feeling that resonates from songs off Pearl Jam’s Binaural.

Sonorous guitars and vocals are blended nicely with Hammond organs in “A Reason To Be In My Skin.” Gossard’s guitars complement the lead vocals with fervor and grace, singing the lines “Your touch is electric/Your mind is sharp/I’m lost in your self,” bleeding through the speakers. This tune defines the record with a great downward chord-shape progression in the verse.

A gem and highlight of the record, “The Only Way” is beautiful beyond measure, complete with lush acoustic guitars, heavenly vocals, and scintillating pianos. With delightful verses and a glorious chorus, the band makes a statement, keeping the tradition of Seattle alive.

Brad’s music displays influences from ’60s and ’70s rock, with drummer Regan Hagar, bassist Keith Lowe, and frontman Shawn Smith completing its lineup. Although Gossard is well known from his ties to Pearl Jam, he doesn’t fight for the spotlight in the group. Still, he has been a powerful force in the creative stages of this record, a grand event of mighty sounds and introspective songwriting.

Produced by Stone Gossard, Regan Hagar, Keith Lowe, Shawn Smith

Engineered and Mixed by Floyd Reitsma