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Michael Brondstetter - Iron Mountain
Michael Brondstetter is a versatile guitarist and singer. So far his discography only lists one release and that release is Iron Mountain, an EP which he recorded in California. No one could accuse him of being a practitioner of tautology as, at least stylistically, he rarely repeats himself over the course of the five songs from his only record. With ease and command he is able to cover the folk, blues, rhythm and blues, country, and rock and roll genres with equal fluidity.
Dark Cloud Blues must have been the song his label (OAG Management Records) chose as the single from Iron Mountain because Iíve been hearing it played frequently over the last few months on radio stations here on the east coast. Structurally itís the most blues based track in his repertoire. Emotionally Michael Brondstetter leaves you with the impression that he didnít just write this song but that he actually lived through what heís singing about.
As a composer he really has a way with words. For example, on the second verse of Dark Cloud Blues he sings:
Choosing, losing gets so old
Boozing, schmoozing, being sold
Seeing, being, makes me cry
Sing a song, word are wrong
Act the part, or be gone
Reaching, grabbing, come up short
Launch this ship before they abort
Not many writers are so good at expressing such complex feeling in such a simple fashion. Michael Brondstetter does it with every single cut Iíve listened to on Iron Mountain.
Another tune with lyrics that certainly inspire your imagination is named Ghost In The Walls and subtitled (Whoís Trying To Reach Me?). To quote the repeated chorus he delivers several times over:
What is haunting me?
Makes it harder to proceed
Why Do I feel so strange?
Like a blocked call
That I donít see at all
Whoís trying to reach me
Maybe itís ghosts in the walls
Maybe, Ghosts in the walls
Ghosts in the walls
Ghosts in the walls
With this track he generously shares his folk music influences with his listeners.
What surprised me the most on this little crossover compilation was Tear It Apart. If youíre in the mood to rock out this is your go to goody. Wailing electric guitars, bottom throbbing heavy bass lines, pounding drums with rolls and fills on the tom-toms, and a gritty edge to Brondstetterís vocals are what makes his arrangement work so well. And the reason I found it such a surprise was after his more mellow numbers it felt like a rocket lifting off the launch pad and heading into the unknown wild blue yonder.
So up, up and away Mr. Brondstetter, youíve really got it going on with this Iron Mountain EP. From the first title to the last you take us into your world and let us all look around for a spell. I hope youíre planning to put out another EP or even an album real soon. I can only speak for myself, but after listening to your only offering I have to say in all honesty, five songs are just not enough to satisfy this guyís music loving soul.