This was my 8th cassette release and by most accounts my best. By the days of ANT I was less obsessed with mountains of harmony vocals and clear song structures were more important. I did fewer track combinations, too, which lead to a cleaner, less distant sound. The addition on some songs of a beat box (usually in the background) made my playing steadier. Now in 2011 I have pitch-corrected the old dragging cassette master and done some lite mastering to improve sound.
Back in the old days you could actually get DIY cassette releases reviewed! Hard to believe. Scans of some of these are free with purchase. Here's selected text from a few others:
Five Cent Review (an early online DIY review site):
“Scott Brookman writes what I'll call, for the lack of a better phrase, some of the most charming and appealing pop songs I've heard in a long time, with a sense of humor and an utter lack of pretension. The strengths of this cassette are almost too numerous to mention. First off, Scott's songwriting and arrangements are impeccable, and his vocal harmonies are at times truly something to behold! More than just straight-forward crooning over acoustic strum-strum-strum, his songs are filled with exciting interplay between vocals, guitar, and bass. The performances are a tribute to the potential of a one-man band and his Tascam Portastudio. I really can't find the appropriate words to adequately praise this tape; but trust me, I had a ball reviewing this one. You'd be a fool not to give it a listen.”
Ian Stewart in AUTOreverse #2:
"Old-Fashioned homespun pop in a late XTC/early Beach Boys vein. Nearly every song on this tape would make an excellent single. The songwriting is top-notch, proudly displaying its sunny late 60’s catchiness at every turn. Nice nice nice. Put this bloke in a proper studio with a decent budget and some pricey musicians and he would be massive. Which is not to suggest that “Everything You Write Sound To Me Like Death,” “In My Hometown,” and “It Ain’t Me, Obviously” don’t kick tail here because they do. The sugary harmonies and clear and abundant and the musicianship is good as well. “Then You See Her” strays into XTC’s English Settlement (precisely “Knuckle Down”) for its rhythm, which is always a sign of good things. Fans of intelligent pop take note, and send away for this gem."
GAJOOB Magazine’s DIY Recording List #1 Sept 27, 1994:
"Sounds like Scott has taken more time with this release than with any of his others. His sound is very much solidifying into a Poprock style not unlike Robyn Hitchcock (but still his own), and it seems that each cut here offers a little something unique and surprising. Brookman has especially refined his harmonies which did tend to wander in and out of key in the past; here they are exceptional. Another thing I liked about this tape (and there’s much about it I loved), is Brookman’s flair for tasty guitar lines and surprising additions. “A National Treasure” is a real treat and will surely appeal to anyone who likes good songs full of harmony and melody and plentiful, clean guitar. Highly recommended."
released May 10, 1994
I play acoustic guitars, my handy Gibson SG, a Fender bass, a beat box with rhythm presets, possibly the Mel-O-Bar ("Exotica"), a partial drum kit (no kick) and, of course, sing.