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Eau Claire trio give Wisconsin
a bit of indie cred

The Daredevil Christopher Wright -
In Deference To A Broken Back

(Amble Down Records)
3 1/2 stars (out of 5 stars)
Reviewed: Aug. 25, 2009
The Daredevil Christopher Wright

Review by Tony Bonyata

On The Daredevil Christopher Wright's debut full length, In Deference To A Broken Back, the Eau Claire, WI-based trio sing of cancer, hospitals, death, sea storms and personal war stories. Despite the dark tones and morose subject matter that fills this 11-track album, musically it's an inventive collection of often sunny and optimistic indie rock that pulls its listener in a little further with each spin.

The album was produced by the threesome and mixed by their northern Wisconsin musician friend Justin Vernon (aka Bon Iver) and the results are lush and intoxicating. From lovely three-part harmonies from singer/guitarist Jon Sunde, his brother and bassist Jason Sunde and drummer Jesse Edgington, to the challenging shape-shifting time changes and truly inventive song structures, The Daredevil Christopher Wright has created a wonderfully refreshing rock album. Songs such as the quirky, left-of-center folk-pop of "The East Coast," and the hushed acoustic delights of "War Stories" and "The Daredevil Christopher Wright," as well as the more straightforward indie pop of "Stewardess" and "We're Not Friends" only help to separate them further from many of their musical contemporaries - and that's a good thing, as it's extremely difficult to try and grasp for comparisons of their music.

Perhaps their most creative number on the record is "A Conversation About Cancer," in which they turn coming to terms with the terminal disease into a mind-boggling mix of eccentric indie-rock, Milwaukee beer-barrel polka and Zappa-esque insanity. It probably shouldn't work, and in most other's hands it wouldn't, but somehow they shine brightest when they take their art outside-of-the-box as they do on this challenging track.

Along with their musical cohort, Bon Iver, who lends a helping hand on the creation of In Deference To A Broken Back, The Daredevil Christopher Wright are giving the state of Wisconsin a bit of well- deserved indie-rock credibility. In fact, it may not be that long before we start to hear polkas reverbing back from Brooklyn hipsters.

Related articles:

The Daredevil Christopher Wright - Basement Tapes Session #16

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