When I realized that Braid—the storied Illinois band that's been around since 1993—was releasing a new album this year, I couldn't imagine that my late-20s self could possibly relate to music that narrated some of the weirdest, most intense years of my teens. It turns out my old, crotchety self likes Braid just as much.
Braid has been around (on and off) for a staggering 21 years, and No Coast, released in early July, is their first new album in 16 of those years. It feels like a lot has changed since the late 90s, but the guts of what made this band great are still intact: A rough, consistent pulse looped in with precise mathematical guitar melodies.
One track is contextually perfect: East End Hollows, a song that boomerangs between an ode to the band's youth ("drunk lust and punk love, we dream of") and something less exuberant ("you'll take these dreams and throw them out the window"). It's a song about getting old woven into a song about being young:
Spinning records and not keeping track
No one keeps tracks anymore
And no one remembers anything
So soak it up while you can
I'll tell you how it ends
It couldn't be a more perfect song for a band—or a person—that started out life on grainy tapes and scratched up CDs and somehow wound up in the intangible era of Spotify. Check out the full album, it's well worth a full listen. [No Coast]
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