The Brightside Of It All


Snappy Little Numbers/Shield Recordings, 2022

REVIEW BY: Tom Haugen


Tattoo artist Greg Laraigné, who records under his last name, is a troubadour with a lengthy history in the area of punk rock. However, he grew up on Bruce Springsteen, Johnny Cash and Tom Petty, and their influence is certainly present on this sophomore studio album that took ten years to make. my_heart_sings_the_harmony_web_ad_alt_250

Laraigné starts the listen with the warm electric guitar and smooth vocals of the title track, where his introspective singing is complemented by Chris Lyttle's fluid drumming. “Are Dogs Holing Up To Die” follows, and welcomes Darreck Anderson's emotive pedal steel and Eamon McGrath's well timed keys to the gentle, dreamy delivery.

In the middle, “Twenty Years” picks up the pace a bit with a melodic folk-rocker that builds into a louder, punk-influenced album highlight, while “King Of Denmark” recruits Casey Lynn on backup vocals for the scrappy Americana nods that wouldn't be out of place on a mixtape with early Frank Turner.

The final three tracks are just as excellent, and include the slow burning and lush beauty of “Thirty-Nine”, as well as the hazy, sonically radiant nature of “Skate Shoes.” “Father And Son” exits the listen and showcases Paul Ramirez's drumming and Chris Cresswell's (The Flatliners, Hot Water Music) backup vocals on the powerful finish that lyrically mentions Minor Threat and Bad Religion, and embraces a rugged yet dense delivery.

It isn't hard to think of similar punk-spirited artists like Chuck Ragan, Tim Barry or Jon Snodgrass when listening to these seven tracks, but you'll also notice traces of Son Volt or Steve Earle in Laraigné's country/folk/Americana vision that's very, very well executed.

If you're a packaging nerd like myself, the record comes with stickers, a poster, a download code, and full lyric sheet. Even better that it's on smokey clear vinyl, too.

Rating: A

User Rating: Not Yet Rated



© 2022 Tom Haugen and The Daily Vault. All rights reserved. Review or any portion may not be reproduced without written permission. Cover art is the intellectual property of Snappy Little Numbers/Shield Recordings, and is used for informational purposes only.