I think some times not enough thought is put into sleeve design. We can all picture our own favourite iconic sleeves throughout musical history and the usual suspects come to the fore – Pink Floyd. The Beatles, Yes, Bob Dylan (keep inserting your own subjective choice here…). But what about those truly curve-ball of a sleeve, the ones that just make you go WTF! And even laugh or cry, or even become more intrigued? Ladies and Gentleman, the sleeve for the Brick House EP “Sympathies”, I feel, is an absolute classic. Now I know that this proclamation is going to be like Marmite, as in you like it or you don’t. But I think its brilliant. It’s funny and subversive. The music is pretty good also.
The EP kicks off with the absurdly catchy “Chapel on a Hill” with a guitar lick to get the stiffest of the stiff grooving. Vocalist Benjamin has a way with words and an arch delivery. His observations remind me of a milder, more PC version of Morrissey and his vocal style will conjure moments of Neil Hannon and Lloyd Cole. The pace slows down incrementally with Memo and Never Better, before finishing off with “Here We Are At Last”, which certainly evokes a tired, two in the morning feeling after a hard days night, before bursting into f**k – off finale when all hell breaks loose.
Brick House evoke the musical spirit of the best of early eighties indie-pop: great musicality, witty lyrical observations, confidence, and a real sense of their own artistic sensibility. And a great sleeve to boot!!
To listen to Sympathies click here to find it on all streaming platforms.