Rachel Brashear — Revolution

The compilation wastes no time; it begins with a single guitar playing a classic rock riff and is soon accompanied by bass and drums and Brashear’s voice singing, “We push and pull, we push and pull, we push until the balance is uneven,” with tangible frustration.

The EP is filled with slicing, bluesy guitar riffs, while Brashear’s voice is at its best when languid and weary. The melodies and rhythms of her vocals are complex, yet she pulls it off with a seeming effortlessness that provides an important contrast for her music — even the fist-pumping guitar and drums on “Strength in Numbers” are tempered by her “been there before” vocals.

This style left me feeling that her sound could be improved if she hadn’t played the rock ’n’ roll as straightforwardly. Her mysterious voice would be better suited if paired with more psychedelic instrumentation. She does occasionally lean that direction, especially on the title track. With her voice multi-tracked into a disarming harmony, the song is smoky and cryptic but would have been improved with more musical experimentation. In other words, less Zeppelin, more Floyd.

However, Brashear proves a strong musical presence and doesn’t fail to make an impression. Paired with a stronger group of collaborators, she has the potential to make something remarkable. — Kevin Pickard

Kevin Pickard

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