At first glance, Hackamore Brick may sound like a fairly unusual name for a rock group, but in reality, it’s nothing compared with their music. Hailing from Brooklyn, a mere stone’s throw away from the shadow of the ghost-ridden Fox Theatre, they somehow manage to draw on all the traditions of Top 40 music at once, constructing little homilies of teenage lust (‘I Watched You Rhumba’), poignant tales of unfulfilled longing (‘Reachin’), and passionate tributes to idealized dream girls (‘Zip Gun Woman’), all wrapped up in a rather extraordinary package called One Kiss Leads to Another (Kama Sutra). In particular, a minor classic going by the name of ‘Radio’ stands out among my favorites, and though its levels of complexity (or simplicity, if you will) are much too involved to go into here, I will say that it nearly combines a teen tragedy song on the order of J. Frank Wilson’s ‘Last Kiss’ with a salute to AM/FM radio, each piece put together with a logic that nearly touches on the cosmic. And more, by adding just the right mixture of jumbled beats and garbled notes to carry the whole thing off, the group gives their admittedly strange universe a touch of much-needed believability. Without much prodding, Hackamore Brick wins the High School Band of the Month award, and believe me, that just doesn’t come easy.
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