Exclaim! ‘One Brick At A Time’ Review

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by Rachel Sanders

The nostalgic harmonies and retro-style black and white album cover of the Karpinka Brothers’ debut album call to mind some of the last century’s most famous brother bands, particularly the Louvins and the Everlys. But while the Saskatoon boys’ gentle melodies and simple acoustic arrangements hearken back to the roots of rock’n’roll, their lyrical themes are a complex and engaging blend of starry-eyed ’50s idealism and a more modern world-weary sensibility. Blue skies, porch swings and girls with brown, cascading curls share lyrical space with slammed doors, half-drunk women, barren bars and rundown cars. The sweet catchiness of “Tether Ball” is tempered nicely by the cynical sentiments expressed by the song’s long-suffering boyfriend. And a lovely cover of Lucinda Williams’ adoring ballad “I Envy The Wind” is perfectly at home nestled between jaded love songs “Slow Down” and “Every Time You Slam The Door.”