At first, I thought this was a crust punk or a modern hardcore record. The entire visual identity made me think I will maybe experience an ultrafast, blackened, d-beat hardcore album stacked with hellish screams and shoutouts. After all, dotwork imagery and the theme pointed that out from the very beginning. It was strange considering that crust punk/modern hardcore would be something Snappy Little Numbers would release after all those ear-appealing power pop, indie, and melodic punk rock records. But in the end, why not? Many bands play this style of music, and they’re doing it pretty damn well. Snappy Little Numbers are known for their diverse catalog, so maybe Chris tried something new. Many thoughts buzzed around my head while I looked at the impressive artwork, but I immediately realized I was wrong once I spun this record on my turntable.
The Brightside Of It All is a second full-length album by Greg Laraigné, a Canadian singer-songwriter, and multi-instrumentalist from Toronto, Ontario. Of course, this record wouldn’t sound this good without some guest appearances, so you’ll also stumble upon performances by Eamon Mcgrath (guitar, bass, keyboard, tambourine, backup vocals), Chris Lyttle (drums), Paul Ramirez (drums on Father And Son), Casey Lynn (backup vocals on Twenty Years and King Of Denmark), and Chris Cresswell of The Flatliners (backup vocals on Father and Son). Greg Laraigné explores the vast universe of electro-acoustic music by combining fundamentals of folk-punk and punk rock with Americana, country, bluegrass, and classic rock. It has been a very long time since we had an album like this on our pages. Therefore, The Brightside Of It All comes as a pleasant surprise.
The Brightside Of It All carries seven thoughtfully arranged folk-punk songs, ranging from half-time to mid-tempo. You could classify these songs as ballads, and you wouldn’t be far from the truth because they resonate like all the best folk, country, and Americana ballads. Some readers might think this is more of a 12″ EP because of the number of songs included on this piece of plastic, but I will leave that debate to someone else. The most important thing is Greg Laraigné did an outstanding job while assembling these tracks. There’s no way you’ll find any weak moments while listening to his soulful, confident, soothing voice delivering meaningful, emotive lyrics. Each song possesses a perfect structure built upon wisely combined chord progressions, melodies, harmonies, themes, and rhythmic sequences. His vocal performance and the remainder of the orchestrations are directly responsible for shaping a nearly cathartic ambiance that will suit even those picky listeners.
I adore how Greg Laraigné implemented each instrument on this material. The vocal parts and acoustic guitar are constantly upfront in the mix alongside the bass and drumming performances. The remainder of the abovementioned instruments serves as accentuations and enhancements. The electric guitar emphasizes the acoustic performance without spoiling that soothing ambiance, and the sound engineer/producer did incredible work on the entire album. It’s nearly mindblowing how even the tiniest additions uplift everything on an entirely new level. The Brightside Of It All is an excellent folk-punk album that will suit even those fans of straightforward Americana, country, and bluegrass music. Snappy Little Numbers did a tremendous job on the packaging, and you’ll love that additional poster and smoky clear vinyl. Head to their web store for more information about ordering this record.