There are few sadder moments in music than realising that a band who made an astonishingly unique sound have succumbed to the lack of success and released a straightforward 60s rock album. Chikinki are a 5 piece from Bristol, whose double keyboard attack made a gloriously avant-garde rock sound with huge energy and edge. Songs like Take It Or Leave It and Assassinator 13 from Lick Your Ticket were awesome.
3 years on, that record still sounds like new - it is one of the best British albums of the noughties. Brace Brace tones down the keyboards and ups the guitars to make a more mainstream record, but in doing so loses any interest. The songs are weaker, the sound thin and weedy. Brace Brace sounds as though the band have headed towards where the new British rock bands are, rather than waiting for the world to catch up to them - this is more Editors-on-the-cheap than the bluesy electronica they had perfected. In a case of never-mind-the-quality, there are 15 tracks at a low low price, but you'd have to be a huge fan to make it past track 10 in one sitting - too many average verses, too few memorable choruses. Unfortunately, Brace Brace can't be recommended - do seek out Lick Your Ticket, however.