Brian Stankus


Written by: PP on 26/12/2011 02:35:55

Brian Stankus is a singer-songwriter. He's a decent one but nothing revolutionary or even noteworthy. Boom, that's a condensed version of this review for all of you suffering from mild symptoms of ADD.

Now for the longer version: Brian Stankus is a singer-songwriter with two sides to him. One which is fairly typical and standard to all other singer-songwriters just like him, and another one that's more interesting, which we'll get to shortly. Like the majority of his peers, he is equipped but with a simple acoustic guitar and his voice, so the minimal amount of instrumentation needed to convince you that his talent is worth considering. Heavy focus is obviously placed on the lyrics, with the acoustic guitar merely acting as a companion instrument to avoid a capella, which virtually no-one enjoys in the long run. These are decent, even great at times ("My life in photographs is a summer long party" opening in "Days" is great), but often suffer from the same syndrome as many of his contemporaries: delivered through a too shy and conformist style, following the exact indie-flavored footprint of hundreds of others just like him.

But where it gets interesting is when Stankus adds in some attitude, and sings with a swagger that almost breaks into screaming in places. We're talking of strained vocals that come across as more characteristic and interesting than the standard soft, emotion-less croons that almost all indie songwriters use. A lot of his ability to do so has to do with Frank Turner, who paved the way for acoustic singer-songwriters to break out of their soft mould to add a little harder edge to their sound. Brian Stankus may never reach Turner's proportions in terms of rants or punk-flavored rage, but there are certainly moments during which he adds in that extra roughness to his delivery, and he instantly sounds more interesting as a result. More importantly, these are the moments when he distinguishes himself from the planet-sized mass of guys with an acoustic guitar singing simple songs about their life experiences. It's really too bad this happens only rarely. Because the rest of the stuff, well, it's so typical and predictable to singer-songwriter that it hurts. Not necessarily bad, just generic.


Download: Days,
For the fans of: any other acoustic singer-songwriter you've come across
Listen: Bandcamp

Release date 26.08.2011

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