Today is the eight anniversary of the most popular post I’ve published—Review: “Nothing Else” by Epoxy (#BrettKimberlin).
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Back in 2002, Brett Kimberlin fronted a band named Epoxy and released a CD called Nothing Else. The story he spun promoting the album was that it contained songs that he had written while he was being held as a political prisoner in the federal prison system.
The band consisted of Brett Kimberlin on guitar and vocals, Wade Matthews on Bass, and Robbie White on Drums. The genre of the album is someplace between grunge and punk, neither of which are among my favorite musical forms.
Let me first comment on Mr. Kimberlin’s voice. I had heard his speaking voice in court, and I understand why some people refer to it as whinny. His singing voice reminds me of the silly voice that Weird Al uses on tracks such as Eat It. Mrs. Hoge, who listened through the CD with me, said, “Eddie Haskell.” On most of the tracks his voice was off key, usually flat.
Most of the songs could have been filler tracks on a generic grunge album. Some of the alienation in them seems to be more appropriate for a 17 year old, not someone 30 years older. Mr. Kimberlin was in his late 40s when the recording was made. However, three of the songs stood out. Vicegrip was actually interesting musically. Donuts had clever lyrics. It’s about lousy prison food and would probably get a nod of approval from G. Gordon Liddy.
Then there’s the last cut Keyhole. It was outstandingly bad. Mrs. Hoge and I met while we were in the music business, and during her career as a recording engineer, she recorded more gold and platinum records than I did. Her comment was, “If you’re gonna mike a guitar that close, you should use a better guitar and make sure it’s in tune. And get a better guitar player.”
While he didn’t do especially well with the acoustic guitar on Keyhole, Brett Kimberlin is actually a reasonably good guitarist. He probably couldn’t cut it in Nashville or LA, but could make a living in a minor market (such as Seattle) or playing the Holiday Inn circuit. Indeed, the world would be a better place if he did ignore the usual advice and give up his day job.
Nothing Else by Epoxy (Pollen Records, $16.04 from Amazon) is interesting because of who recorded it, but I can’t honestly recommend it for the musical experience it offers.
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There’s good news, and there’s bad news. First, the bad news: Nothing Else is still available at Amazon. Now, the good news: As of 9 pm ET last night, the price had dropped to $5.64.