Brad Postlethwaite
Gig Seeker Pro

Brad Postlethwaite

Band Pop Singer/Songwriter


This band has not uploaded any videos
This band has not uploaded any videos



"Welcome To The Occupation - Brad Postlethwaite"

There are two boundaries one must get by to dig Brad Postlethwaite's Welcome To The Occupation mini-album. The first is his voice, which I quite like, though it's an admittedly strange set o' pipes. It's one of those rubbery freakizoid inflections, like Wayne Coyne of the Flaming Lips or Jeff Mangum of Neutral Milk Hotel, though maybe a little more forced than either of those (another reason it might be hard to get by it). On last year's Our Land Brains, his excellent debut record with Snowglobe, he delivered music-as-blanket tunes, whose sheer warmth allowed the listener to accept the voice as capable of communicating beauty. Which leads to the subject of the album, and the second hurdle to get by in appreciating the music.

It's a concept record about September 11th and its aftermath. Well, maybe not a concept so much as a theme, but - y'know - what's the difference when you're talking about 9/11? Either way, you have to - at least temporarily - get over what he's singing about. In writing about the 11th, Postlethwaite makes an odd leap. Many of the bands that practice the modern psychedelia he is influenced by (such as, again, the Flaming Lips and Neutral Milk Hotel) deal primarily in fantasy worlds: Coyne sings of robots in the future, Mangum of Holocaust ghosts. These are abstractions, and wonderful ones. Postlethwaite makes the leap into the present.

"Hopes were crumbling / Into prayers / That came out screaming / Ringing everywhere," he sings on the opening "We Never Woke Up." "There were bodies falling through / The air. / There were newsman fixing up / Their hair / There were famous people singing / Songs / That filled up stadiums and emp-tied the shopping malls." Postlethwaite uses tones of psychedelic surrealism to pile images onto the present, ripping the ties off of Presidents and political figures to reveal the same warmongering lords who have been calling for war for the entire history of man. New is old, for Postlethwaite, and just as grizzly as it ever was.

For all of this, the thing that makes Welcome To The Occupation a winning record is its production -- the same organic bells and whistles that characterized Our Land Brains. Organs, chimes, acoustic guitars, and countermelodies all hover out in the margins of the mix. A modestly great recording.

- - Jesse Jarnow

"Welcome to the Occupation Review"

As a general rule, lo-fi singer/songwriter stuff annoys me. I know it shouldn't, because that's a terrible bias for a music reviewer to have. The problem that I have is that, nowadays, every yokel in the world seems to think that they can buy an acoustic guitar and a 4-track and call themselves a musician. Sorry to be negative, but 90 percent of those yokels aren't musicians - they're HACKS. Every so often, though, I have to admit that a talented artist (or set of artists) comes along and slightly changes my perception of things - artists like the Action Items, the Ants, or the Evergreen Trio (specifically, the Lift Up Your Voice EP). Brad Postlethwaite's Welcome to the Occupation places him firmly amongst that group of artists that is actually capable of carrying this lo-fi, singer/songwriter vibe properly.

Postlethwaite is most likely best known for his work with the quirky, retro indie-pop group Snowglobe. On this release, however, Postlethwaite steps out from that mold and lets his musical diversity run rampant in quite a few directions. Welcome to the Occupation is one of those tragically rare CDs where nothing seems out of place, even when the material is coming from way far out in left field. Postlethwaite pulls off a solid poor-man's Mark Linkous vibe for most of the record, showcasing as much of a knack for unexpected and candidly weird instrumentals as he does for solid songwriting.

Sure, there are a few clumsy bits and pieces, such as the album opening "We Never Woke Up," a pop tune that tries hard but never really falls together quite right. However, even the few faltering moments have a very endearing quality to them, as if Postlethwaite's musically winking at his listeners, saying, "Yeah, well wait'll you here what's coming up next." "Greatest Highest" starts with a drone, though it slowly develops, layer by layer, into a very solid and well-textured pop number. Postlethwaite's Snowglobe collaborator Tim Regan pops up on "Empty Burning," tossing a few guitar licks over the song's oddly dark cadence. This track is unique in that it starts out as an acoustic stomp and winds up as an oddball stoner, fuzz pop flourish - while everything in-between is straight-up, laid-back rock. "Mainz" is another longer number that takes similarly dark mood and rhythm and drags it into five-and-a-half minutes of surprisingly solid listening.

The shorter, more quirky acoustic-based numbers are just as good. The country-drenched "Rachel Corrie," the organ backed "Adriann," the piano-based "Just Cause," and the folky, hauntingly beautiful "Faded Picture" are all stark and impossibly simple examples of exactly how good this lo-fi singer/songwriter fare can get. Even the seemingly off-the-wall, out-of- place song bites work well. The minute-and-a-half lyric-less "Guitars" rolls along on a roundabout acoustic guitar riff, while wordless backing vocals bray over the music in a manner eerily reminiscent of Alice in Chains (and yes, that's written correctly - "Guitars" really has to be heard to be believed). The sub-minute "E" sounds like a cross between a Teenage Blackout track and church organ music (yes, that is cool), "Guitars and Organs" offers up it's namesake in the form of a quirky, 60s pop-styled ditty, and "A Minor" is a casually, collected rock rhythm that really does disappear too quickly.

In the brief liner notes to Welcome to the Occupation, Postlethwaite makes a number of extroardinarly sharp observations about violence, war, and the basic American lifestyle (including the corporate infrastructure of the US). His final comment is stark, but taken in context, very powerful: "We have yet to witness the outcome of our efforts." Well, I can safely say that I have witnessed the outcome of at least some of Brad Postlethwaite's effords, and that outcome is one set of very happy ears. Another solo record this good will officially make the guy an uncredited musical genius, and no, that's no bullshit - Welcome to the Occupation is SOLID in every sense of the word. - Delusions of Adequacy-Gary Blackwell


Other than the record listen below, I don't have anything else available. I do have tons of songs recorded, however, and a second record coming out soon.

Welcome to the Occupation - 2003

This is an anti war album that came out around the time Iraq was invaded. I was sure the release of this record was going to stop the invasion, but as it turns out I was wrong. (j.k. haha) Most people seem to either love this record or hate it.

A couple of songs from it were featured on a Peace Not War Compilation, which was an honor. You can find it at Other than that and a few reviews, no one payed too much attention to this record. For some reason political pop just doesn't go over in the media too well...or rather it didn't in 2003, when the war was just beginning. hmmm, maybe someone should pay to rerelease this record now, since anti-war sentiment has grown.....merry christmas



I was born in Memphis, I still live in Memphis. I'm lucky to have grown up here and had exposure to the culture that has shaped so many amazing artists throughout history. There's a reason these people came from (or in some cases came to) Memphis. The vibe here is more honest, more pure, more real than most of the other "music meccas" is the US. Cities like New York, Nashville, Atlanta, LA, etc have a totally different perspective on music. It is not uncommon, for example to see a "rock band" reading sheet music in Nashville, and virtually everyone in these cities seems to have some image or asthetic that supercedes the music. While these things occur in Memphis, as well, it is by no means the standard. The standard in Memphis is based on good music and (probably most importantly) a friggin killa good time.

The dirty south gets crunk, know what i'm saying playa?