TED LEO AND THE PHARMACISTS The Brutalist Bricks CD/LP

Ted Leo is one of those artists who rarely deviates or evolves from his core sound but still manages to make you love it all. He's cultivated a devotion that mirrors the rapture of hardcore Springsteen fans. Perhaps it's all due to the working class passion that never comes across as forced or phony, passed down through folks like Woody Guthrie and Joe Strummer, or it could be Leo's ability to channel Paul Weller's white boy soul filtered through his own New Jersey roots? Whatever it is it works. While it would be difficult to reproduce the brilliance of 2003's Hearts of Oak, Leo's post-Oak output has held up well and The Brutalist Bricks is no exception. Made up of thirteen tracks that mix anthem-like punk rock that whips back and forth as Leo's delivery matches the break-neck pace set by the driving rhythm section made up of longtime Pharmacists drummer Chris Wilson and newcomer bassist Marty Key with a few steady but slower moments, Bricks should be the record that pushes Ted Leo and the Pharmacists into well deserved, massive acceptance. In all likelihood this fucker is going to be huge. [Matador]

-Troy Brookins

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