All These Brilliant Things
Ariel Aparicio knows rock and roll, and in his newest release All These Brilliant Things, he grabs hold of this knowledge and a host of life-experiences and hoists them violently and unapologetically on the stage, for all to see. Cuban by birth, Ariel is now a full-time brooklynite. Having gone from bartender to the owner of two of Brooklyn’s hottest restaurants, Ariel is attuned to the abrupt highs and lows of life in the city. Ariel spent three years cooking up these tasty numbers following the release of his acclaimed punk-rock jaunt “Frolic and F***,” which the Hot Indie News called “an indie rock classic.” “Life and Times,” the record’s opener, is also a perfect summation of the project. Themes of love, death, illness, personal struggle, hope, art, addiction and finally birth (Ariel had his first child less than two years ago), abound on this record. Some of the records most exciting moments are the ones which celebrate this new phase of Ariel’s life. “I’m The One,” the single for which all proceeds are going to The Paul Chester Children’s Hope Foundation, a charity dedicated to giving medical attention to children in developing nations, is an infectious piece of power pop on which Ariel belts out the chorus with a swagger and spirit only attainable through complete self-possession.
These themes are evident not only in the simple lyrical beauty of these songs, but in Ariel’s now patented vocal stylings which run the gamut from the monotone ultra-cool Iggy Popish mumblings, to Bowie-esque pop-punk precision, to his very own frequency in which he channels both the spirit of Allen Ginsberg and tone of Robert Plant into a one-of-a-kind bone-chilling rock and roll howl. It’s a sound which perfectly captures the underlying spirit of All These Brilliant Things, an epic autobiography of a life spent in the spirit of true rock and roll, and a requiem mass for a lifetime of confusion and chaos now being pulled into focus and set adrift.
Ariel’s inspiration for the record came from a desire to create a timeless rock and roll album that would combine the majestic pop of Bowie’s “Diamond Dogs” with the full-frontal assault of The Stooges “Raw Power.” Tracks often begin with the kind of catchy, rhythmic riff-heavy stuff one might associate with The Strokes, before oscillating into wave-like guitar solos and cascading into b-sections of unpredictable melodic beauty. Songs like “Bones,” travel from the unexpected arrival of a drunken horn section to the smash of a balls-out rocking chorus. “Down In Tijuana,” a short, lo-fi interlude on a record with otherwise meticulously detailed production (Ariel majored in audio-engineering at NYU) harkens back to his Latino roots with a brief Spanish language piece one could easily hear billowing forth from a beat-up old transistor in a Havana storefront. “Jameson & Cocaine,” ironically bemoans lost days of addiction, while “Hang Around” is an anthem of optimism and perseverance written for his newborn son.
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