By Shuvam DasGupta, Rock At Night New Jersey
Album Review: Connor Bracken and the Mother Leeds Band–Nightbird Motel-Release date September 25, 2020
What comes to mind when you think of Asbury Park, New Jersey? Perhaps Bruce Springsteen? Southside Johnny and the Asbury Jukes? Rock ‘n’ roll, right? Conor Bracken and the Mother Leeds Band (MLB) proves this point yet again. The band consists of – Connor Bracken (lead vocals, guitar), Rich Seyffart (drums, vocals), Chris Dubrow (bass, vocals), and Jeff Linden (guitar, vocals). They released their first studio album The Light in The Day in 2016 and after touring non-stop , they released the live album Wonderful Year in 2019. Now, they are back with yet another winner!
MLB will be releasing their newest album Nightbird Motel on September 25, 2020. The album (which features fantastic cover artwork) took two years in the making and all the songs were recorded in Soundmine Studio in Pennsylvania.
The album cannot be defined by a single genre of music—and that is the best part. I think we are at a point of time in terms of music where everyone is free to experiment with different genres–and this is exactly what MLB have done–and they did a fantastic job.
Conor Bracken describes the Nightbird Motel album as “the greatest night you’ll ever remember” with different twists and turns. That is very true, as the songs take on different flavors and continue to surprise as one listens.
Here are my thoughts for each song:
“When the World Stops Turning” – The perfect song that sets the mood for the rest of the album. Punk meets classic rock ‘n’ roll. The song has a vibe like The Ramones. The song starts with a fantastic riff which continues throughout the song. Also, I have to give special mention the lead guitar solo in the middle of the song, which has the classic ingredients to keep your head banging.
“Read on You” – What can I say about this song? I think this is a complete genre bender. It takes on a Beatlesesque rock ‘n’ roll vibe, but then segues into American folk rock and later R & B. Overall, I loved what I heard – it is a song of celebration. By the way, you need to check out this music video – really cool.
“Darkness” – This is true classic rock. This song feels like a continuation of the song ,”Read On You” and maybe that is why proceeds sequentially. I have to especially mention the use of the drums and the good use of off beats. This song makes great use of lead guitar, which fits the song perfectly.
“Photographs of Johnny Cash” – The band is paying homage to Johnny Cash as well as classic rock ‘n’ roll music. The song has a catchy, groovy vibe, which will stay in your head. Definitely check out the music video.
“Blame on Me” – I am a metalhead and this is my favorite song of the album. This song has elements of metal, hard rock, heavy drumming and dark lyrics. I would love to hear this song in a live concert setting.
“Liquorstore” – This song reminds me of Kiss–a real nostalgic, fun ride.
“Voice on the Radio” – As the name suggests this song creates an ambience of driving in the night with the radio playing in the background (I saw the music video later, which is exactly the same). This is a perfect song for a Tarantino film. I have to give credit to Conor for his vocals in this songs.
“Nightbird” – Just when I was thinking this album is missing a rock ballad, this song came on with its strong vocals and lead guitar. This song will not disappoint and in terms of the lyrics, I think this is the best one on the album.
“Dream of You and Me” – The last song on the album ends with a dream and concludes the whole album. The sound is very fresh and modern–and it seems the band has given their all to the song with the guitars, drums, and certainly the vocals. It will make you want to listen to the whole album once again.
“Reprise” – This is an acoustic version of “Read on You”, which certainly leaves a sweet aftertaste.
I absolutely loved the album and plan to make it a go-to album while driving in the car. I definitely want to see the band live after this whole COVID thing is over!
All songs written by Connor Bracken
Lead Vocals, Guitar: Connor Bracken
Drums, Background Vocals: Rich Seyffart
Guitar, Background Vocals: Jeff Linden
Bass, Background Vocals: Chris Dubrow
Produced by Connor Bracken and Dan Malsh
Recorded, Mixed and Mastered by Dan Malsh and AJ Larson at Soundmine Studio, East Stroudsburg, Pennsylvania USA
Album Cover Artwork by Joe Ruff
Album Layout and Design by Brian Bracken
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