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Let’s all do the two-step mosh

Not content with the success of British Sea Power, Eamon Hamilton brings his crazy concoction of cowpunk disco to the masses. By Paige Newman
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Ladies, get ready to swoon. Eamon Hamilton of the Brakes wants you to know that the guys in the band, himself included, are “really hot.” Of course, the music is what will really make you swoon. A crazy concoction that Eamon describes as “cowpunk disco,” the band’s debut CD, “Give Blood,” will take you on a wild ride, where you’ll meet belligerent cokeheads at shows, visit a party on ecstasy and even get a chance to yell at Dick Cheney. And who doesn’t want that?

You may have heard of Eamon’s other band — a little outfit called British Sea Power, who are currently on tour with the Killers. Well, Eamon is going to spend the next year on the road, playing with the Brakes during his time off from BSP. The band should be hitting our shores in January and February.

Eamon actually played with the guys in the Brakes, who include Tenderfoot’s Marc Beatty and Electric Soft Parade’s Tom and Alex White, before BSP ever came into existence. The guys jammed, doing local gigs, and when they finally got into the studio, they recorded their album in just five short days, live to tape, with two days of mixing. Eamon called the experience, “intense,” saying that because he knew the guys so well, they were able to improvise a bit. “We just brought the skeleton of the songs in and then added the muscles and veins,” he said.

It may seem strange to hear a British band playing country, but Eamon says he grew up with it, listening to English folk songs and learning folk dances in school. Different from American country, but with the same idea that the songs should be “stories set to music.”

The stories he tells are anything but typical. “I Can’t Stand to Stand Beside You,” talks about being so disappointed in someone that you just can’t be around them anymore. Eamon admits there’s a personal interpretation of the song that he doesn't care to share, but also says that it could be about Tony Blair and Gordon Brown, two politicians who have really let the Brits down. “You been doin all the things that you were once so against, Sir,” he sings, “Lying all the time, you keep lying all the time.” I can think of a few American politicians those sentiments might apply to as well.

But it’s definitely not all politics — you can tell the band spends time in the local pubs. Eamon says he enjoys talking to fans, but did have this one experience, documented in the song, “Heard About Your Band,” where a coked-up stranger who insisted that Eamon must be coked up too, shouted a one-way conversation at him.

Even a random conversation like that becomes fodder for a song; just another day in the life of a rockstar. In some ways, the album seems more like a documentary of their lives rather than the philosphical musings that other bands indulge in. These guys sing and play about what they know — what they’ve experienced. Eamon said that what he likes about playing in a band is getting to live inside the music, “to live inside the notes. It’s pure pleasure.”

He takes pleasure in other people’s music, too. It’s not surprising that someone who plays in two such different bands should have kind of wild music tastes, but I laughed out loud when Eamon told me, in all seriousness that one of the albums he’s listening to lately is Mariah Carey’s “The Emancipation of Mimi.” He credits the Neptunes, but also says, “Hey, she’s got a good voice.” He also enjoys Jay Z and Kanye West. Could there be hip-hop in Eamon’s future? With this guy, and this band, I wouldn’t rule anything out.

For now, though, put on your steel-toed cowboy boots and get ready to mosh like crazy under the disco lights. And don’t forget, these guys are hot.

For more information on the Brakes, visit: