The Pernice Brothers
When most people think of pain in music, it usually has some pretty dark elements: shrieking vocals, crashing drums, funereal dirges. When Joe Pernice puts his anguish to music, he can’t help but wrap it up in sunny, mellow pop. It’s a disorienting combination, juxtaposing literary songs about train wrecks, plane crashes, bums and cubicle angst with spine-tingling harmonies and catchy hooks. Imagine the Snuggle Bear on a bipolar bender, and you’ve got the new mascot for the Pernice Brothers. After almost ten years of making records under various aliases (Scud Mountain Boys, Big Tobacco, Chappaquiddick Skyline), Pernice continues to perfect his craft — songs with immediately recognizable melodies and lush layers of orchestral swells, all topped off with his soft, breathy voice and some of the most airtight harmonies heard since Paul and Art went looking for America.