Brad: Brad vs. Satchel

Brad vs. Satchel
(The Establishment Group)

Who’s this Brad guy and why is he taking on his satchel? For those who are not familiar with the history of the Seattle music phenomenon, Brad is not a person. It’s a band that features singer Shawn Smith and drummer Regan Hagar, both formerly of the band Satchel. Brad also features Pearl Jam guitarist Stone Gossard and multi-instrumentalist Jeremy Toback.

The supergroup, if you will, is based on the delicate vocals and firm songwriting of Shawn Smith, who was also in Pigeonhead.

Brad vs. Satchel is an 11-track b-side compilation of Brad and Satchel material that never made it on their original offerings. The songs span the years of 1997 when Satchel ended and their third album never came to be, all the way up to the 2001 Brad sessions, which were eventually released on their last studio effort Welcome to Discovery Park.

The tracks are primarily piano-based ballads and funky rockers, which is a Smith trademark. The light-hearted piano tracks on “Looking Forward” and “Whose Side Are You On,” along with the funk guitar-driven tracks “Roll Over” and “3 O’clock,” stand out strongly on the record as clearly being the best tracks. In fact, these numbers could have easily made the original releases. It is a bit of a question why these were considered “throwaway tracks.”

Brad vs. Satchel was released on the band’s own label and distributed through Red Eye. The compilation disc is a treat for die-hard fans of both bands, but would be a poor introduction disc for anyone who was trying to discover the beauty of both Brad and Satchel.