Review Summary: Christopher Browder isn't the second coming of the Bemis or the next midwest wunderkind, but he's on the right path.
So what do you do if you are a broken hearted, semi-alcoholic twenty two year old with a "the world is out to get me" complex? Well, if you happen to be Christopher Browder, you pick up a guitar and start writing songs. The Loiusville, KY, native has been performing his brand of semi-acoustic pop punk under the Mansions moniker since 2007 and after a hand full of self-released EP's has finally released his label debut in the form of New Best Friends
New Best Friends
is surprisingly honest in its sound. Browder's rudimentary musicianship and to the point instrumentation of simple chords and octaves coupled by the occasional programmed drum beat make it possible for his words to take center stage. Browder is at his best when he wears his personality and wit on his sleeve. On "Talk, Talk, Talk" he strikes gold. The entire chorus is a hook filled to the brim with the same mix of bitternes and apathy that made Max Bemis a scene darling with ...Is A Real Boy
. Through out New Best Friends
Browder paints himself as a victim that is constantly wronged by all whom he meets. While this attitude works wonders for the album's more upbeat numbers like "Holidaze" and Browder's version of the obligatory "I met my heroes and they were pricks" song "The Hard Part", on the slower moments it creates the morose sound of a man drowning in his own pessimistic world view.
Its pretty clear after a listen to Mansions' Doghouse records debut New Best Friends
that Christopher Browder wants to occupy the crowded middle ground between Conor Oberst's self deprecating depression and Max Bemis' semi humorous relationship angst. New Best Friends
doesn't quite hit that mark, but Browder's work isn't in vain. While Christopher Browder isn't the second coming of the Bemis or the next midwest wunderkind, he's on the right path.