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'The Brutalist Bricks,' Ted Leo and the Pharmacists 

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Traversing a mountainous range of sound, Leo and his fearless Pharmacists deftly maneuver the peaks and troughs of power pop, mod, punk and lo-fi to emerge with a bright and energetic sound. The Brutalist Bricks is the band’s sixth album — a record that derives its title from the Brutalist movement in architecture (lots of concrete and angles — you’d recognize it, trust me). And, in a lot of ways, the aesthetic of Brutalism resonates with that of the record.

Upon first glance, the facade appears to be nondescript, made from a concrete composite of a dozen other bands and sounds. But looking closer, we see that this gray utility has been treated liberally with playful melody and wit, leaving us with a structurally sound record that feels wrought with both warm familiarity and exciting novelty.

Download: “Even Heroes Have to Die”


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