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" Editor's Pick"

Honestly, when I opened up the package from Bowman/Lisa, I figured that this CD would be hard rock with a lot of yelling due to its art and packaging, but I was pleasantly surprised. This CD is full of good vocal performances with great instrumentation, especially the acoustic guitar throughout the entire CD. If you love Tom Waits, then you will like this CD.

Fears and Accusations is full of surprises, beginning with the first track. During “Waiting,” a lead harmonica comes out of nowhere, which is a good introduction to all the wonderful musical treasures this CD encompasses. “Run Away” (Track #2) is strong with powerful vocals and tasteful electric guitar leads. Track #3, “Dark Side of Town," is a nice contrast in style with a ballad in ¾ time. “On Our Own” (Track #6) has a key/guitar duet in the instrumental break. “Something in our Skies” (Track #9) has a great blues feel, but with a twist.

My favorite cut from the CD had to have been “Shadows” (Track #10). This is a beautiful acoustic ballad with such emotional vocals that the song just plain got me hot. Plus, it had a nice additional instrumentation of piano near the end of the song.

The team of Brent Bowman and Bryan Lisa is one that I hope will continue to write great music and allow this new fan to add many CDs to my collection in the future.

-Denise Squier -

"Plugging Good Music Without Shame"

I feel no shame in plugging the new album Fears & Accusations by two talented musicians, Brent Bowman and Bryan Lisa. While many musicians have talent, it doesn't mean a thing unless they can put together a tight, impressive product. But, these guys have done just that.

Before its release, I had heard that I should expect a brooding, acoustic album inspired by the likes of Iron & Wine, Bob Dylan, and Tom Waits. However, upon my first listen, I realized Bowman and Lisa have created something more. These songs could easily be the calm artful tune in the middle of the kickass album of any of your favorite rockers, like Snow Patrol, Jet, or the Foo Fighters.

Opening with the catchy waiting, the album welcomes you into a genre of music as difficult to describe as Bowman and Lisa have framed it on their MySpace page: "your basic acoustic/alternative/emo/folk/blues/alt-country/rock band."

Bowman and Lisa continue with a dozen more tracks that might at first seem to run around high-five'ing as many influences as possible - Chris Isaak, Waits, B.B. King, Radiohead, and Townes Van Zandt, to name just a few - but, in the end, they take some great sounds from these genres and influences, and put them together to create something excitingly new and yet comfortably familiar.

The haunting exhuming you recounts the mixed emotions of a past relationship that Mark Kozelek of Sun Kil Moon would know well, while on looking back, Bowman channels powerful crooning similar to the Chris Martin warhead of Coldplay's musical arsenal. Bowman, however, infuses it with a strength and grit that Martin could never pull off, making for an emotionally stirring ballad.

Other tracks on the album show Bowman and Lisa's lighter side, with the fun romp, i'm the man, showcasing Bowman's guitar talent and successfully trashing every controlling golddigger ever to think she could latch her hands into a musician, while the blues-infused something in our skies will have even the most mainstream-pop listening whiners stomping their feet.

While the album heads out with increasingly dark tunes, such as the final destructive ballad of a man using prostitutes to dream of his lost love, it reminds me that beneath all the bubblegum pop out there, good musicians are still making good music.

I hesitate any time I think of plugging a certain artist. There are simply too many people out there endorsing absolute crap for all the wrong reasons. So, I thought hard about whether to do so for these guys, but the fact is that I think you'll like their album. It's simply good music, and you'll be humming these songs to yourself long after the closing notes. - Seven Wicked Demons blog


Bowman/Lisa: Fears and Accusations (2007)
Bryan Lisa: Skeleton Keys (2005)
Brent Bowman: Isolation Rituals (1997)
Brent Bowman: Storms (1996)
Brent Bowman: The Dark Reality (1995)



New Jersey singer/songwriters Brent Bowman and Bryan Lisa’s diverse backgrounds seem to make the joining of their talents an impossibility. In reality, it brought out their musical strengths and resulted in the album, fears and accusations, which is being recognized as the pair’s best work, attracting a wide audience due to its timeless music, melodies, and lyrics.

Brent Bowman wrote his first song at the age of 13 and compiled his work on home demos until the age of 18, when his first studio album, The Dark Reality, was recorded and released in 1995. Encouraged by the response to the album, which sold several hundred copies with virtually no radio airplay, Bowman followed up with Storms in 1996. Storms explored the boundaries of heavy rock while being balanced with acoustic ballads. In 1997, Bowman released an all-acoustic album entitled Isolation Rituals. While this album’s dark songwriting style and exploration of depression as a central theme did not immediately find an audience, it did pique the interest of one fan, in particular.

Bryan Lisa began writing and performing music casually at open-mics in 1996, but when he heard Isolation Rituals and saw Brent perform, he became serious about music. Multi-instrumentalist Lisa recorded and released his first album of original music in 2005, Skeleton Keys. The album garnered much acclaim from fans, surprising many with its sophisticated blend of acoustic instruments and mature lyrics. One of the fans of Skeleton Keys was Bowman, who was so impressed by the album that he approached Lisa in the summer of 2006 and suggested a collaboration.

Writing for the proposed project began in the fall of 2006 and the duo soon realized (after compiling more than 25 new songs) that even they were not prepared for the power and emotion of the songs they had written. Fears and Accusations is the product of one year of writing and over 120 hours in a recording studio in central New Jersey. Fans of both musicians are stunned by the material; the shuffle of “Dark Side of Town”, the cryptic beauty of “Exhuming You”, the tear inducing ache of “Looking Back”, the cheery foreboding of “Waiting”, the hysterical braggadocio of “The Man”, and the rocking blues of “Something in Our Skies” have music fans spreading the word about this album and acting as a virtual PR machine for the two musicians. With a debut effort like this, one can only wonder what the two are capable of in the future.