Garrett Cooper is a musician who hails from South Australia. We had all had enough of 2021, but Cooper decided to give himself the goal of writing one song a month and putting it up on Bandcamp from November. He named the project Brave Mistakes, which may or may not have been hinting at how he felt about the task ahead. Now, Brave Mistakes is not the first to do the one song a month challenge, but one must remember that Cooper started this with a change from his usual harder rock style.
And now we are in November 2022. Single number twelve is here…. or is it? There seems to be two singles in the form of the tracks “Can’t Fear” and “The Goon“, which make up a trilogy of songs called Shadow Pals and Brave Mistakes is no longer a solo project, but now a fully fledged band. The sound has filled out with those jangly guitars tumbling beautifully over each other and Cooper’s vocals have gotten stronger each track, dare I say giving Chris Isaak a run for his money.
Obviously not content on just one song for this month, we are going out with a bang. On Bandcamp you will also find a new rendition of “Charlotte Street“, which was the first to kick everything off and it has been stripped down, full of overwhelming emotion. I was actually surprised to also see the release of a cover of one of my most favourite bands of all time. The Church, for me are the epitome of superb composition, poetic lyrics and more cool than the Arctic (and good grief they were so hot looking in their paisley and winkle pickers). The cover of “Under The Milky Way” kind of blew my mind and in all honesty, I actually cried a little.
Over all, the general ambience is dark and moody, with definite overtones of country music, which gives Brave Mistakes a quintessentially Australian sound. The music follows in the footsteps of such acts as stalwart NickCave, rockers Beasts Of Bourbon, The Johnny’s or the wonderful and sadly missed Triffids. It is music that speaks of longing, loneliness and separation in a land both expansive and ancient, where one can lose themselves in the terrain or simply in your own head. Southern Australian gothic or dark country? Maybe it defies pigeon holing but it is terrific rock music no matter how you look at it. Brave Mistakes sometimes pay off.
Right, this might be the only time I do one of these reviews, but we will get back to that later. Thanatos is a dark electric/acoustic project that started in the 80’s between Sam Rosenthal and Patrick Ogle. November 26th found us with a new album called….. Country Covered. Yep. I was kind of dared into doing this by one MichelRowland before I realised it was country music. The pedigree is there. Gothy band, recorded in William Faith’s (Faith & The Muse, Christian Death) 13 Studio and mixed at Martin Bowes‘ (Attrition) CageStudio. What have I gotten myself into? Poop!
The album is the brain child of Patrick Ogle, who obviously loves country music or the fact he finds the craftsmanship of the music exceptional. There are nine tracks in total and they are all played on acoustic guitar by Ogle as he sings. There seems to be everything from oldies by Kris Kristofferson and Townes Van Zandt to more modern tunes. As with all country songs they cover a gamut of subjects that most other genre don’t. The loneliness of the wilderness, riding the open plains, gun slinging and bar brawls to missing your loved ones while working the land or simply watching the sky turn shades of orange, pink and hues of blue, as the sun disappears while you sit in your encampment.
The single off Country Covered is “Seminole Wind” was composed and originally sung by John Anderson in 1992 about Florida’s destruction and loss of the natural habitat that supports the ecosystem. The vocals and tone in this new version remind me a lot of legendary Man In Black aka Johnny Cash. The whole album is beautifully produced and it does almost feel like you are at a campsite around a roaring fire in the cool night air. Ogles’s performance never wavers nor does it ever sound like his heart is not there. For me, I grew up for the first six years of my life in small country towns where the music of choice was country and western as it was known back then. For some reason, even though I heard John Denver and the rhinestone cowboy, Glenn Campbell, all my life, I find it a really challenging genre to like and to this end, I am definitely no expert. If you found yourself in awe of what Johnny Cash did to Nine Inch Nails then you may very well find that this collection of country song soothes your soul. You will find this Thanatos album on the Projekt label and it name you price download.