“Faceless Strangers”

By Dr. Abner Mality

Sometime a record comes out that you enjoy and you’re not really sure why. For me, Brick’s “Faceless Strangers” fits the bill. By all logic and past listening history, this stuff should be too “modern”and “commercial” for me. The flaws are there and easy to see. But I just like the band and their music and the whole damn record.

Imagine a kind of mild Pantera with melodic vocals mixed with modern hard rock like Breaking Benjamin and even Three Doors Down. Throw in some keyboard and piano work. There you have the essence of the Brick sound. They are heavy and energetic  but tastefully so.They play short punchy songs that are full of hooks that you can’t ignore even if you try. Many of the songs on “Faceless Strangers” are based on the same general riff pattern. Well, that’s true of AC/DC and Slayer as well. Why should Brick get knocked for the same thing, especially if it works?

I don’t know the vocalist’s name but he’s got a rich, soulful voice that can show anger now and then. And there is a kind of anger on fast, crunchy tunes like “Bagging Rainbows”, “Last Day” and “World of Lies”. OK, it’s not gut-ripping thrash or hardcore, but that’s not what they’re after. Another interesting touch is the very conspicuous use of organ and piano. I particularly like the honky tonk piano on the otherwise very angry “Bloody Mistress”. The title track actually has some pretty advanced keywork on it.

Final analysis: “Faceless Strangers” is enjoyable melodic metal that overcame my objections with heart and charm.