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The Age of Octeen

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Album Review

Braid's second full-length, The Age of Octeen, exudes a passion and roughness reminiscent of high school. From the boyish shouted/sung vocals to the straightforward, punk-influenced guitars to the lyrics dealing with failed relationships and memories, the album has an unpolished, garage-band energy. Although the album has that raw quality, there isn't a weak track on it. The first track, "My Baby Smokes," starts with quiet, mumbled lyrics, rolling drums, and understated guitars before bursting into wailing vocals backed by a wall of sound. "American Typewriter" is a little more complex with its tight, staccato drumming and quick guitar riffs. "Chandelier Swing" and "Autobiography" close the album on a quieter, more thoughtful note. Overall, The Age of Octeen is a solid effort that manages to capture the abandon and freedom of being 19.

Biography

Formed: 1993 in Champaign-Urbana, IL

Genre: Alternative

Years Active: '90s, '00s, '10s

In a search to find others interested in trading videos of live shows, drummer/singer Bob Nanna, of Friction, placed a classified ad in Maximum Rocknroll and met drummer Roy Ewing, of Champaign-Urbana, Illinois, in 1993. That fall, Nanna, a freshman at the University of Illinois in Champaign-Urbana, started hanging out with Ewing, who played in Lowercase N. Nanna's friend guitarist Pete Havranek, of 42 Loads and Inkadink, wanted to play with someone new, so Ewing volunteered. Nanna became their singer...
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