The Brood on Stanton Park
I first saw the Brood in November 1984. The Dark Cellars had managed to squeeze onto a show at Genos to fill in for Plan 9 who were unable to make it that night. I was totally unprepared for what I saw. I don’t remember if I knew beforehand that the Brood were all girls, or even that they played garage. Walking into Genos after an interesting journey (we had the Captain in tow) we loaded our equipment into a pretty cool little basement that looked at least five years behind the times (and I mean that in a good way).
As I remember the night, the Brood opened. Beyond my amazement at their song choice (remembering “And I Know,” “Writing On the Wall”), their sound was unique. I’d seen a bunch of the neo-garage bands at the time, including the Pandoras, just a few weeks prior. But the Brood were different. I think one of the most unique things about their sound, at the time was the Farfisa organ that Kristen Chalmers was playing. Not the typical “Duo” that most bands, myself included, were using. This was a smaller model with an extraordinarily reedy, deep sound which can be heard prominently on “Cry” off of In Spite Of It All, and their version of “And I Know.”
They had managed to create a super swirly garagey sound that wasn’t a complete carbon copy of some band from the ’60s. They were inspired (heavily) by the garage/psych sound, but in their relative isolation, developed their own moody sound that stood far apart from the other bands I was seeing.
Fast forward several years, Stanton Park was picking up steam and the Brood were breaking out of Portland having played all over the Northeast and released several records. I helped produce the band’s debut album for Get Hip and had also asked Chris to sing on the Ladds from Bellevue 45, so a single with the Brood on Stanton Park seemed like a logical progression. I think because I was spending a lot of time working on Till the Stroke of Dawn and listening to a fairly steady diet of New England garage at the time, I talked with them about the idea of doing two covers of songs by New England sixties bands. Their sound fit perfectly and the resulting single, “Since He’s Been Gone”/You’ve Got Me Cryin’ turned out really really well, I think!