11 Songs, 38 Minutes

EDITORS’ NOTES

Brian Bell branches off from Weezer with The Relationship — an eponymous debut album bearing fruit that doesn’t fall far from the family tree, save for thematic lyrics — all 11 songs here show no mercy for the muse as Bell waxes heartbreak and sorrow throughout. Recorded on an analog eight-track in Bell’s home studio, “Something More” opens with his unmistakable guitar tone as the song blossoms into a mid-tempo rocker with vacuum-tight vocal harmonies, grappling chorus hooks and lyrics of lovelorn lament. “Please Help Me” contrasts emotional desperation with sunny Rickenbacker jangle making way for a Byrdsy 12-string solo. Bell dusts off his acoustic guitar for “Mother Night,” a well-crafted folk rock tune that plays like the long-lost son of Tom Petty — the strolling “You Rock My Heart” even recalls Petty-era Dwight Twilley recordings by filtering a ‘50s-flavored jam through ‘80s power-pop flavors and plenty of that wet vocal slap-back indicative of the time. Easily the most analogue sounding tune of the lot, “You Rock My Heart” is a good example of how to make new recordings sound timeless.

EDITORS’ NOTES

Brian Bell branches off from Weezer with The Relationship — an eponymous debut album bearing fruit that doesn’t fall far from the family tree, save for thematic lyrics — all 11 songs here show no mercy for the muse as Bell waxes heartbreak and sorrow throughout. Recorded on an analog eight-track in Bell’s home studio, “Something More” opens with his unmistakable guitar tone as the song blossoms into a mid-tempo rocker with vacuum-tight vocal harmonies, grappling chorus hooks and lyrics of lovelorn lament. “Please Help Me” contrasts emotional desperation with sunny Rickenbacker jangle making way for a Byrdsy 12-string solo. Bell dusts off his acoustic guitar for “Mother Night,” a well-crafted folk rock tune that plays like the long-lost son of Tom Petty — the strolling “You Rock My Heart” even recalls Petty-era Dwight Twilley recordings by filtering a ‘50s-flavored jam through ‘80s power-pop flavors and plenty of that wet vocal slap-back indicative of the time. Easily the most analogue sounding tune of the lot, “You Rock My Heart” is a good example of how to make new recordings sound timeless.

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4:49
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About The Relationship

Los Angeles power pop combo the Relationship was formed in 2007 as side project by Weezer guitarist Brian Bell. Working out of his home studio, Bell and a rotating cast of bandmates completed work on their self-titled debut, which was released by Golden State Records in late 2010. With their winning mix of Beatlesque pop, tuneful alt-rock, and classic rock styles, the Relationship played sporadically over the next few years, emerging again in 2015 with a 7" single on California lo-fi pop label Burger Records. Appearances at the label's Burgerama 4 Festival and the Sundance Film Festival followed, and by 2017 they'd completed a follow-up LP. With a more solidified lineup of Bell on guitar and vocals, Brandon Graham on lead guitar, Jon LaRue on bass, and Justin Goings on drums, the Relationship delivered a new single, "Break Me Open," in early 2017, followed shortly after by their sophomore album, Clara Obscura. ~ Timothy Monger

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