The Brigadier
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The Brigadier

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"'View from the Bath' CD review"

UK import and a very exciting debut that, at times, reminds us of Van Duren and The Scruffs(check out "Tell Me What You Want"). The Brigadier, one Matt Williams, says he's never heard of these bands and, naturally coming from the UK, that would be the case and, indeed, Williams influences are grounded mainly in his homeland. We hear strains of The Lilac Time/Stephen Duffy, The Zombies, The High Llamas, The Divine Comedy and The Kinks are here. There's lots and lots of 60s Brian Wilson here as the 60s vibe is strong, hard-to-miss and uniquely re-interpreted for 2007 here. There's some sleepy sunshine pop angles woven into the proceedings, too. In fact, here's a misnomer: this is a gripping, exciting sleepy delight! Hey, The Brigadier even got a quote from Wondermints! 'Wonderful sound. . .contagious songs'. Nice. - Not Lame Recordings

"The Brigadier" - ridiculously gorgeous and unerringly infectious, the Brigadier is the alter ego of Welsh musician Matt Williams who these days calls home Brighton. Apparently the proud parent of one acclaimed self released full length to date in the shape of ‘view from the bath’ with another tentatively pencilled shortly for Spring release under the working title ‘the rise and fall of responsibility’. Even before you’ve heard a single note played a quick check of Mr Williams’ extensive list of influences gives you fair indication that this may well be something enticingly special - names such as Bacharach, Big Star, Gene Clark, Andrew Gold, Todd Rundgren, Dave Edmunds, Raspberries, Bee Gees and the Korgis give a fair indication of the promised pop rushes to come. And come they do. ‘Some sort of magic’ is ridiculously infectious - silken melodies wrapped in denim and smelling of hi-karate, audaciously affectionate hooks and pristinely wrapped sugar tipped harmonies al hallowed and framed by harpsichordian swirls and bathed in unfeasibly cute bristling baroque braids while the unapologetically retro candy coated ‘this is why’ appears to have been defrosted from some weird state of suspended animation having happily lived in ignorance of the last thirty years of pop and still tripping to a heartbeat and mindset so indelibly link to a more innocent early 70’s age. ‘regents park’ is so wrong its right, picking the bones from the melodic astute uttered by the likes of early career Ashley Parks and current loves Muller and Patton - a kooky lightly crisp beauty replete with willowy plaids, bird noises and that sense of undisputed feel good loveliness that comes when the hot summers sun bathes warmly through an early morning bedroom window then again there’s more than a whiff of Cliff Richard era ‘Summer Holiday’ about its persona which be honest is no bad thing. Those of you who heeded our recommendations about Epicycle will positively swoon to the immeasurable classically crafted pop coyness of ‘the language of love’ - think Lloyd Cole, Mickie Most and Van Dyke Parks invited on a studio blind date and detailed to belt out a lavish and lush saccharine sprinkled radio arresting pop gem aided by a remit to procure the essence of 50’s bubblegum pop, mid 70’s summers and a glancing marinating of glam and pub rock formulas. Best of the set though by far the lilting ‘Berkeley Square’ - a heart stoppingly majestic nugget that appears to take its initial cue from Godley and Crème’s ‘under your thumb’, succulently saturated by porcelain electronic swathes and festooned deliciously by spectral keys and threaded with subtle 60’s sourced west coast motifs that once heard stick like limpet mines inside your headspace. What we’d like to know is a) how does he do it and b) how does he get away with it? Stunning. -

"'The Rise and Fall of Responsibility' CD review"

Matt Williams is the multi-talented mastermind behind The Brigadier, and his new 2008 release, "The Rise & Fall of Responsibility" will have fans of 70s pop jumping out of their orange and yellow sofas for joy. This is one of the most genuinely retro-sounding CDs I've heard in a long time; Matt is a man who knows how to pay tribute to his influences, which include everything from Abba to the Zombies.

The Brigadier specializes in buoyant 70s-style pop, with vocals subtle and hushed, but that swell into a brilliant climax during the plentiful harmonies. He is not unlike Elliott Smith or Teenage Fanclub in this regard.

Things get started with the first part of the mini-concept album within these 13 otherwise independent tracks. "Growing Up Is Hard To Do" is divided into two parts, the first part being a straight ahead pop rocker with 70s flair (complete with hand claps and harpsichord). Part two near the end of the CD is more epic in scale. The haunting "Envy" also boasts astute lyrics that stand out over the gentle acoustic strumming.

While these tracks showcase the more thoughtful and introspective side, there is plenty of stuff written purely for fun. Like the best track, "This, Is Why...", a simple love song with one of the catchiest hooks on the record, sounding like a musical ghost of a Captain and Tenile hit written by Elton John. A close second is "The Box in the Back of My Mind", another upbeat highlight with shimmering guitars, hand claps, and optimistic lyrics. "Une Soiree" is an interesting track with a bouncy, carnival-like chorus that would not be out of place in an Abba song. Finally, there are a couple of tracks that sound VERY much like T. Rex, such as "The Language of Love", which dials the fuzzy guitars to 10 when they are not interspersed with some tickling of the ivories. Some tracks are more experimental, like the brief closer "Facade", which reminds me of Mr. Rogers Neighborhood during Halloween.

All things considered, "The Rise & Fall of Responsibility" is a hugely enjoyable effort from a very talented songwriter and musician. If you are a fan of diverse genres swirling around a power pop core, you would be doing yourself a disservice by not checking out The Brigadier.

iPOD-worthy: 1, 3, 5, 9, 11 -

"'The Rise and Fall of Responsibility' CD review"

Matt (The Brigadier) Williams is sure to garner attention this year. His latest, "The Rise and Fall..." is a highly addictive and intelligent pop album. The narrative pop style is rooted in the work of McCartney and Ray Davies, but with soft gentle vocals closer in sound to Sean O'Hagen of The High Llamas. If you enjoy a burst of pop creativity, you'll flip over the opening track "Growing Up is Hard to Do Part 1" which compares favorably to Bryan Scary. It shoots out a bouncy beat and handclaps to the lyric "One day I'm playin' with computer games... watchin' your youth go up in flames, so do you say no surrender?" This is an excellent beginning and leads to the dream-like mid tempo love song "When Will I be with You" which evokes a mix of Roger Waters and Aztec Camera with acoustic guitar strum and piano. "The Language of Love" is quirky piano number with a breathy vocal and rich chorus. The theatrical bend to the album not only compares well with Bryan Scary piano work, but also Genesis' Steve Hackett guitar arrangements. The songs flow easily from the slow heavy organ depression of "Envy" to the music hall style of "Une Soiree" -- it's mesmerizing and the entire album will demand repeat listens. The utterly amazing "This, is why..." has a catchy hook, with a 70s era style similar to early Elton John. "The Box in the back of My Mind" gets in touch with it's inner Raspberries and is my favorite track. The ending "Growing Up is Hard To Do Part 2" has a Kinks meets Beach Boys vibe. Don't miss this brilliant album, as I will now want to examine The Brigadier's past albums. It makes my top ten list too - lots of great pop this year! -

"'View from the Bath' CD review"

The Brigadier has been busier than Lily Allen building an on-line army of fans, and here comes the full assault - debut album View From The Bath is half an hour of songwriting at its very finest. Davies, Wilson and McCartney spring to mind, but it's in the more subtle moments that the Brigadier comes into his own, with a distinctly modern view of British city life. Buy this now; cult status or major label stardom beckon, but it starts here, in the bath. - Beat Happening Magazine, UK


Listen to and download more tracks at:

Discography so far is:

Some Sort of Magic - E.P. (2006)

View from the bath - Album (2007)
Reviews here -

6 Christmas tales... - E.P. (2007)
Reviews here -

The Rise and Fall of Responsibility - Album (2008)
Reviews here -

Rhymes for Rainy Days - EP (2008)

Tracks and CDs available through MySpace, itunes, CD Baby, Kool Kat Music, Not Lame recordings, Napster and more...



The Welsh born Brigadier is Singer, Songwriter and Producer Matt Williams who has been receiving critical acclaim for his intimate live shows and his timeless pop songs.
Matt started writing songs at an early age and his aim was to make music that he himself would want to listen to, an idealised form of pop music and it's ideas.
Having established a dedicated online following (and recently in the Myspace top 100 unsigned artists chart), Creation/Poptones boss Alan McGee was suitably impressed enough to offer The Brigadier a gig at his Death Disco night in Notting Hill, London.
Increasing exposure led Matt to enjoy healthy sales and great reviews for a string of self-financed, self-recorded (at home) and self-released albums and EPs - 'View from the Bath', '6 Christmas Tales' and 'The Rise and Fall of Responsibility'.
The Brigadier has had radio coverage (Including BBC Radio 1, BBC Radio Wales and BBC Southern Counties) in the UK, USA and Europe, as well as magazine coverage.
Influences include - The Beach Boys, The Beatles, Queen, The Divine Comedy, The Kinks, The Byrds, Nick Lowe, Led Zeppelin, The Rolling Stones.