The Brazen Heads: Curse of the Hag

Band: The Brazen Heads

Title: Curse of the Hag

Basics: Sometimes in life, we get a raw deal -- a particular instance or chain of events that presents us with an obstacle we must overcome. Perhaps it's the passing of a close relative or the disintegration of a marriage or relationship. Whatever the case may be, one's private life may become clouded with barriers that -- while of great importance -- must be dealt within one's normal daily routine.

That is, a marriage might be on the rocks, but we must still go to work and pretend that everything is okay, trying as we might to shelter what is really going on in our lives. Grandma may have just passed, but we have to be there for our children and provide them with the necessary strength to get by.

Listening to this record The Brazen Heads' Curse of the Hag is like dealing with the death of a loved one.

Best Song: I honestly do not think something deserving of the word "best" exists on this album. I compared this record to the death of a loved one because the band recorded an entire album -- 50 long, long minutes -- yet I have to listen to it and pretend there is something, anything redeeming about it -- there just isn't. I can say anything I can think of to cheer up little Bobby and Susie, but we all know Grandma Agnes isn't going to make it to Thanksgiving this year.

Worst Song: Sure, they say it's easier to be negative about something than it is to give something praise. I think that's bullshit. A favorite band is instantly likable because there already exists a positive disposition towards the band and their music. When a new album comes out from said band, it is often very simple to say plenty of nice things about the music -- it is an inclination impossible to ignore. When that same, favorite band produces something believed to be sub-par, it is more difficult to realize what is being listened to is not up to the band's standards for quality. If something's good right away, we like it instantly. If something is not quite as brilliant, it takes time to label it as such. 

That being said, "Sweet Whiskey" makes the Pampers "Potty Dance" dude seem like Glenn Danzig. It is a boring, formulaic song that sounds like it was recorded by a tribute band to a tribute band of Flogging Molly, which isn't very fair to Flogging Molly. You know you're in for it when there is a flute within the first 10 seconds of the song. If you want it to feel like you're celebrating St. Patrick's Day at the intensive care unit, then please, by all means, put on Curse of the Hag.

Suggestions: Rename the album, Go Fuck Yourself, because that's what it felt like to listen to this garbage. The effort on the album is debatable (there are 14, fourteen songs), but the music is just so bland and so uninspired, it felt rude for them to ask me to take the time to listen to it. We're a proud people, Americans, never wanting to admit when we are wrong or when we've presented something perceived by many as below average, but this album is just so bad that it felt like the band themselves were just fucking with me the whole time. "How can we make it so he has to waste nearly an hour of his life listening to our music while teetering on the brink of insanity? Let's submit our album to You Asked For It!"

Honestly, I need to do a better job screening albums before I decide to review them. You can send in all the crap you want, but if there is a clear lack of effort and ingenuity, then it is not being reviewed with more than a sentence. Don't waste my time and I sure as shit won't waste yours.

Grade: Take a wild guess.

If you're a musician from the Phoenix metro area and would like to have your music reviewed in You Asked For It (our first-come, first-served and often harsh record review column) please send it in an envelope marked "YAFI" to:

Michael Lopez
You Asked For It
c/o Phoenix New Times
1201 E. Jefferson Street Phoenix , AZ 85032

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We were at a Brazen Heads show on New Years Eve and, judging by the packed house VS. the total lack of comments left on Mr. Lopez's various reviews. . .The Brazen Heads most likely have a bigger, more interactive, following in Phoenix than Michael Lopez has readers at his little newspaper intern blog. That's not saying much either. . it was just a small pub and they are a small nobody band. . .

This begs the question: Who really cares what Michael Lopez thinks? It's obvious he doesn't even know what he's reviewing. Making fun of a flute in a celtic band is like making fun of a banjo in a blue grass band or a steel guitar in a country band. It's just ignorant. Who takes music reviews by musically ignorant people seriously?

I bet Mr. Lopez would be hard pressed to name 5 Celtic bands world wide without resorting to google. . let alone tell us about the Phoenix Celtic music scene. Yet here he is, like a 12 year old YouTube troll, filling the void with clever substance free insults and context free proclamations with no demonstration that he actually knows what the heck he's talking about.

It is obvious that Mr. Lopez loves the feeling of sending his words bouncing around in his empty corner of the internet. Thankfully it's apparent that most people never bother to drop by and listen except with random google hits. . . That's comforting to me.

If Mr Lopez were actually a popular reviewer then what he does would be tragic. Using a large publication to give merit to tearing down small local bands working for peanuts. . and who put blood sweat and tears into building a name for themselves.

How do you sleep at night with this ambition of yours? Are you a sociopath?


The problem with the premise of this review is it's patently untrue. The entire 'woe is me' missive might have credibility and be begrudgingly accepted if the entire basis for the review itself wasn't fabricated by the writer. The Brazen Heads never submitted their music to "You Asked For It" or to Michael Lopez. So either Michael Lopez waxed this premise in angst because he needs readers to believe it, or big change has come to the New Times reputation for credibly representing the local music scene.

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