Pernice Brothers
Live a Little
(Ashmont Records)
With each record, the arrangements, playing and Joe Pernice’s voice (singing and writing) have filled out, making Pernice Brothers such an engaging band. With Live a Little, Pernice shows once again the lasting power of pop to tell stories and share life lessons. “Automaton” starts the record with a contemplation of a tried father-son relationship, how the pair’s similarities result in their tension. “Microscopic View” zeros in on a relationship well worn in its groove. Escape from one’s life (“Conscience Clean ”) figure in there too. This is a smart album, belonging to a lineage from early REM through solo Paul Westerberg to Elliott Smith and Ben Folds.
—Sean Flinn

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