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Doug Brons: Pull (aka Audio 1985)
Doug Brons - Pull aka Audio 1985 Album Art

Doug Brons: Pull (aka Audio 1985)

AOR Melodic Rock

Who? Doug Brons? Never heard of the guy. My first reaction. Leave it to an obscure English record label which only releases 12 albums a year (but has been doing so consistently for better than 20 years) to find an obscure (American) artist and give them some international recognition. So, long story short (or sort of). Doug Brons hails from California. As a teen, in the Eighties, he and his brother formed a band playing music influenced by Toto, Chicago, Michael McDonald, et al.

Doug Brons - Click For Larger Image

Doug Brons

Family life became an interlude until Brons recorded Soulscripted in 2016 featuring Amy Grant, Michael Omartian, and John Schlitt (Head East, Petra), and invoking his obvious confessing Christianity. Timepiece arrived in 2019, once more produced by Tom Hemby. Recently, in the Spring of 2021, Brons returned with his self-released third album, Audio 1985. Now, picked up by Escape Music, for promotion in the UK and Europe, it's being repackaged and pitched as Pull. Don't ask me why.

Audio 1985 is actually a very good title, and a fine place to start describing his music: AOR melodic rock. His music is heavily influenced and reliant upon the synth and programming that appeared within the keyboard-laden rock bands and new wave music of the era. Forget Eighties hair/sleaze metal, punk, or anything near either style. Besides vocals, Brons handles the keyboards, but there's also plenty of drum and guitar programming. Which, at the very best, makes me groan. Excepting Mister Mister, perhaps Tears For Fears, and (maybe) Simple Minds, I can toss out that Eighties movement. (But that's just me and perhaps some others.)

Yet there appears to be some live guitar work, solos even, within such songs as Not The Only One, Look Up, Coming Home, and Tell Me Everything. That is to say then that I was drawn more to those songs (heavier at that) than the others. Or something more heavier like Father Show Us. But the guitar work is there. You just need to get past the keyboards and listen for it.

As a vocalist, Brons has a smooth presentation with little assertion and no strain. I've listened to this album twice now, and I still can't decide if he's monotone or simply attempting not to over extend himself. Finally, most songs have some combination of spirtual or Christian themes. Not having the lyrics, I'm sure about We Are The Patriots. In the era of Trump (that twisted turd), I certainly hope it's not about some alt-right political dribble or agenda. Most things accounted for, Doug Brons' Pull is an interesting and creative venture into synth and programmed Eighties AOR melodic rock with some vibrant guitar work to remind us he can still rock. - New fiction, crime fiction by Craig Hartranft

The Take Away

Doug Brons' Pull is an interesting and creative venture into synth and programmed Eighties AOR melodic rock with some vibrant guitar work to remind us he can still rock.

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