thisisfakediy.co.uk: The strength of a Brakes performance comes from the simple ‘four guys assaulting their instruments’ idea that rock and roll is born of.
thelineofbestfit.com: Brakes charm is that their rough and readiness makes their fiery sets what they are. They’re a tight band who portray the image that these often short, usually ramshackle songs could fall apart at any moment.
thedwarf.com.au: Rock Is Dodelijk is a testament to the stripped- down bare aesthetics of the band and does well to capture the ‘fuck you’ spirit that makes Brakes so goddamn loveable.
popmatters.com: Brakes captures something of a Libertines-esque ramshackle quality with these live cuts. Everybody’s right on queue, but there’s a loose, free-wheeling sense about it all that suggests rocking out in this manner is not only a hell of a good time, but what they were born to do.
brotherselectric.wordpress.com What’s so good about live versions is they bring new life to the songs. People have said that TW’s guitar lines make the Brakes sound… but not without the backing of Alex’s pounding drumbeats, Marc’s thundering basslines and Eamon somehow audible over the top of it all. Streaming the album while reading reviews, Cease And Desist is a repeat player. Thomas re-invents the guitar sound of Ring A Ding Ding, almost as if he’s stepped in from another band for the night (he could have, he’s in so many) The first version of What’s In It For Me is a stand out track with TW really going to town. Porcupine is pure punk 30 years later. Spring Chicken is The Beatles when they still wore matching suits (pure 60’s guitar pop) Isabel has gorgeous psychedelic guitar and Jackson steals chord changes from 50’s rock n roll. The only thing that’s missing from this release is a deluxe version with the best from their radio sessions.
Rock Is Dodelijk – visit links for full reviews
pitchfork.com Rock Is Dodelijk avoids a lot of what makes the live album seem superfluous, thanks to the band’s breathless, ripchord performance and the set’s searing up-front sound… they sound beefier here than on record, with some of the nervous energy from the studio converted into pure heft onstage. Lead guitarist Tom White, in particular, lets loose with some billowy solos given far more room to unfurl in front of the audience.
The setlist largely sticks to tunes from their first and still best album, Give Blood, and it’s here we find our highlights: silly little country ditty “NY Pie”, name-drop nose-turner “Heard About Your Band”, single-that-wasn’t “What’s in It For Me?” As with their studio sets, punky thrashabouts sit comfortably next to twangy tear-in-my-many-beers ditties.
Clash Magazine – The best element to ‘Rock Is Dodelijk’ is it truly does epitomize Brakes’ live get-up. It’s fast, almost too fast at times, energetic, messy as a spilled bowl of pudding and a whole lot of fun… there are gems afoot, ones worthy of seeing this record on its own merit, rather than as a stopgap or contractual appeasement. And of course, as with everything in Brakes, here we get a group that never take themselves seriously, and are better off because of it. Get 3 songs: Hey Hey, Why Tell The Truth, Porcupine Or Pineapple.
thisisfakediy.co.uk ‘Dodelijk’ translates from Dutch as ‘deadly’ or ‘lethal’… they are one of few bands whose live shows anywhere near live up to such a statement. The strength of a Brakes performance comes from the simple ‘four guys assaulting their instruments’ idea that rock and roll is born of.
Although it’s hard to pick highlights, other than personal favourite songs from Brakes repertoire (‘Porcupine or Pineapple’ or ‘Don’t Take Me To Space (Man)’ for instance), it is thrilling to hear on record the different takes on familiar material. One song that’s worth a mention is the previously acoustic ‘Isabel’, which is given the full band treatment, swelling to a rock climax, whilst elsewhere passages of songs which are normally quiet are filled with some screeching guitar work.
Of course, this will probably mean all too little to those that are unfamiliar with either the live show or the recorded output of this most brilliant of bands, which is a shame. If you fit into this camp then as soon as possible get out to see Brakes, buy their three albums and then invest in ‘Rock is Dodelijk’ as the icing on the cake.
thelineofbestfit.com Brakes charm is that their rough and readiness makes their fiery sets what they are. They’re a tight band who portray the image that these often short, usually ramshackle songs could fall apart at any moment.
The riff of ‘Cease And Desist’ sounds positively monstrous, and if the audience wasn’t mixed so far back you’d be sure to hear them chant along with the mocking ‘Heard About Your Band’ (“…whatever, dude!”) and rock’s most head spinning anti-war song ‘Porcupine Or Pineapple’. Good to have the storming penultimate set regular ‘Huevos Rancheros’ brought out of B-side purgatory.
While CD/mp3 is no substitute for the real thing, which even got a moshpit going at End Of The Road this year, those without any Brakes in their collection could just as comfortably start here. A super non-stop uber-rocking disco party, just like the man says.
aversion.com Collecting a pair of sets, the 20-track album starts out with an Aug. 2008 show in the band’s Brighton, England hometown, dressed up and mixed down with all the graces that a producer (Chem 19 studios’ Paul Savage) can give it. The final 10 cuts were put directly to tape after a show in Cologne in May.
The band’s wild punk/folk/indie hybrid only gets more energetic as the act takes the stage. With both sets sticking close to the band’s greatest-hits selection, drawing heavily off 2005’s Give Blood (Rough Trade), Rock is Dodelijk is lean, mean and a reminder of all the power to be had in a Brakes show.
flintshirechronicle.co.uk This album highlights what an exciting rock band they are. Like an overly-excited Buzzcocks, their energy when playing live is clear to hear on this album. From tracks like Cease And Desist and Don’t Take Me To Space Man, the four-piece come across as a live force to be reckoned with.
altsounds.com The sound is impressive throughout and really manages to capture the essence of the band (guitars are turned up to 11, drums pound with tribal fury and vocals are delivered as though pants are on fire). The set strikes a fine balance between the bands primary material and their short, sharp, sub 1 minute fixes of energy, songs for which the band have become notorious (their first single was only 28 seconds long).
Such songs include titles such as ‘Pick Up The Phone,’ ‘Porcupine or Pineapple’ and ‘Comma Comma Comma Comma Full Stop’ and more often than not consist of little more than the songs title over a cacophony of guitar noise. It’s a gimmick that would wear thin if it were over-used but it’s employed sparingly enough as as to never truly grate.
The songs which last longer than 2 minutes (we’ll call them the ‘main’ songs for arguments sake) generally veer comfortably between quietly menacing verses and chaotic chorus’s where guitars and drums meld into one almighty, deafening whole.
The nature of the music makes it inherently difficult to pick stand-out tracks but there are moments of pop clarity amidst the chaos with ‘What’s In It For Me,’ ‘Spring Chicken’ and the surprising funk-rock of ‘All Night Disco Party’ in particular delivering some impressive hooks.
The band even manage to include a few left turns with the country stomp of ‘Why Tell The Truth’ and the plaintive, yearning ‘Isabel’ slotting into the band repertoire without sounding in any way forced or contrived. There’s also a surprisingly adept cover of the Johnny cash duet ‘Jackson’ and ‘Don’t Take Me To Space (Man)’ which shows a slightly more psychedelic slant to the band that suits them well.
incendiarymag.com Live, Brakes are loose, playful and a little bit more psychotic than any listen to their insightful “country punk” studio LP’s would suggest.
The chosen “set” has captured pretty well on the nail how good and confident a live act they’ve become. They were always extremely competent musicians from the word go, but now, with a few strenuous years of gigging under their belts, they really sound phenomenal, especially as they approach re-creating their material as a fresh challenge each night, (check out both versions of Hey, Hey as proof). The thunder and elasticity of the rhythm section is perfectly captured on here, as are Tom’s pedal-tastic heroics; as heard on a brilliant Isabel and Disco Party.
themusicfix.co.uk This collection of 20 live tracks captures them at their hyperactive finest… They clearly thrive in the live setting. Each song hums with a nervous energy that is often absent from their studio material.
thedwarf.com.au The word Dodelijk is Dutch for ‘lethal’ and the band sure have nailed it with Rock Is Dodelijk capturing the raw energy of their live performances, leaning toward their heavier punk rock sounds.
Brakes power through twenty songs in just over forty minutes… It’s a heady rock trip, that barely gives the listener time to breathe as they are hit with track after track of propulsive guitar explosions.
All the big singles are included, with ripper versions of All Night Disco Party and their break- out single Pick Up The Phone, and two different recordings of Hey Hey. The album ends with a cover of the Johnny Cash classic Jackson that works surprisingly well. Rock Is Dodelijk is a testament to the stripped- down bare aesthetics of the band and does well to capture the ‘fuck you’ spirit that makes Brakes so goddamn loveable.
popmatters.com There’s a hell of a lot of spirit captured here as they race through 20 songs in 43 minutes, many of which are between the one- and two-minute mark.
Brakes captures something of a Libertines-esque ramshackle quality with these live cuts. Everybody’s right on queue, but there’s a loose, free-wheeling sense about it all that suggests rocking out in this manner is not only a hell of a good time, but what they were born to do.
Vocalist Eamon Hamilton sounds positively vivacious amidst the propulsive, ever-present guitar-riffs that are the true focal point here. They are the vehicle through which these numbers arrive, searing the ears and then bailing out with admirable aplomb.
The album’s only true ballad, “Isabel” offers a welcome respite from the hyperactive volume surrounding it, though the slow-burning guitar that enters towards the end reminds us where we are, especially when a driving bass line seamlessly launches into the stellar single “Don’t Take Me to Space (Man)” shortly thereafter.
…you can’t argue with the fiery approach of Brakes’ live act evident on this document. It’s an exhilarating experience, even out of a home stereo, and it’s over before you know it, wasting no time once the job’s been done. A tried-and-true punk rock approach.