Local Licks 

This week, we review Brass Menazeri, the Size Queens, Hey! Brontosaurus, and Kofy Brown.

Brass Menazeri, Vranjski San. Horns run amok on this Balkan brass band's second effort, a menagerie of sax, clarinet, trumpet, truba, trombone, sousaphone, and much more fused with exotic melodies, a preponderance of energy and pep, and, on occasion, entrancing female vocals. A few songs wander a bit, but that's a minor blemish on an otherwise praiseworthy release. (self-released)

The Size Queens, Magic Dollar Shoppe. Tim Mooney left acclaimed San Francisco sadcore band the American Music Club a couple years ago (alas, frontman Mark Eitzel moved the group to LA). Now he combines his percussion, guitar, bass, and production talents in this mischievous rock band, whose sophomore album is modest yet enjoyable, full of subtly sweet melodies. (Bitter Stag Music)

Hey! Brontosaurus, Life Stars. A handful of Bay Area talents including "Welcome Matt" Langlois and Dan the Automator contributed to this self-styled indie collective's debut. Founded in 2004 as a side project by mosaic artist Kris Jensen and Rondo Brother Jim Greer, Hey! Brontosaurus dabbles in various styles but never strays far from clean, breezy pop. (Citrus to Citrus)

Kofy Brown, Soul Rock. Sometimes I really want to hurt myself/Sometimes I really want to hurt someone else may not be the best opening for an album looking to reconcile soul vocals with rock instrumentation; it just feels contrived. But not everything is soul rock. There's also soul funk, soul psych, even a stab at soul cabaret. The concept is noble, but the execution uneven. (Simba Music)


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