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BRANDON TODD History Of Violence EP

By Larry Petro, News Monkey
Monday, January 8, 2024 @ 9:57 AM

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History Of Violence

Photo Credit: Jeff Arnhart/Rocking H-Town Live

Even though I mainly only cover/review national acts in the Houston area there are occasions when a local act or musician releases something that I feel is worthy of featuring. Enter Brandon Todd, the son of local drummer and personal friend Phred Williams. Brandon started playing live with his father at the young age of 14 (?!) in such bands as TAME FURY and CHASING AMEA, the latter where he not only plays guitar but is also the vocalist. Watching Brandon perform as a guitarist the thing that impressed me was not only his immense talent as a musician but also his persona and rock star vibe while onstage, not at all unlike his dad who himself is probably the most entertaining drummer to watch in the Houston area. As the saying goes, the apple does not fall far from the tree.

Now at the ripe (and legal) age of just 21 years old, Brandon has ventured out to express himself individually with his first set of recorded material in the form of an EP titled History Of Violence which was released digitally last Friday. These are tracks he wrote early on in CHASING AMEA but felt that they weren't a good fit for the band so he decided to release them as a solo project. With History Of Violence Brandon plays all guitars, bass, drums and keyboards in addition to all lead and backing vocals. Quite an impressive undertaking for a first release but it just reinforces the abilities he possesses. You can get the album across all digital platforms such as Spotify, Apple Music etc. And for reference I will include the YouTube audio for each of the 4 tracks below this review.

Right out of the gate the track "Fallout" hooks you in with a nice riff and vocal distortion from Todd. As Brandon decsribes it, the song is about how life can feel so bad but you keep pushing forward to become victorious. This was a great song to get things started as it's high energy and Brandon really pours it out here. He finishes the song off with a solid but brief solo. A lyric video was released for this and you can check it out below.

Next up is "Keep On Moving On", a slower but reflective number about a time when he felt alone and wanted to give up on music. I can't imagine that ever being the case with him but the end result of that experience makes for a great song! Even though he really has his own sound and vibe there is enough of a classic 80's feel to it to make you raise your lighter in the air. Another hit in the making.

"Bittersweet Serenade" follows and like the previous number, it's a slow tempo song that lulls the listener into a sense that it's going to be almost acoustic in nature, that is until it hits about the 2:40 minute mark, when the full electric affect takes over and it becomes a power ballad. Another poignant solo toward the end caps it off before going back to the slow tempo it started with. The lyrics for this number were written to be intentionally vague as to allow the listener to grab the meaning that's most suited for them, whether it's love or just symbolic in nature.

The last song, title track "History Of Violence" puts the finishing touches on a disc with deep lyircal content, this one focused on hoping for a better tomorrow and searching for a new light and that at some point in time the 'history of violence' stops, a tune reminiscent of WHITE LION's "When The Children Cry". This one also picks up the tempo midway through and then ends on a softer note.

One cannot help but be fond of what Brandon Todd has accomplished in his short time on this earth. While I feel that some of the tracks could have benefited more with a blistering solo or two that reflect the persona I have seen onstage, the time and effort that was put into recording this EP makes a true statement of who he is as a songwriter. The sky is truly the limit for this young man as he finds his way not only in life, but in music, and let's hope he never gives up.

4.8 Out Of 5.0

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