All of the instrumental parts on Brilliant Jerk! are mixed with a good deal of headroom – meaning that each owns its space beautifully – and has its own personality.
This makes for a warming mix that allows the song to breathe so we can focus on each part if we want, but also pay attention to the attitude and wit that’s been lavished on the vocals. The lead vocal is dripping with confidence and swagger and is backed up with a colourful arrangement of backing voices that are sometimes mixed hard left and right to exploit the stereo spread.
I particularly like the way the drums have been treated, all skittering sixteenths on the hi-hats, toms with resonance and depth and a nice crisp snare. They syncopate nice and tight with the guitars, which have been brilliantly arranged and infused with personality. They have that 70s metallic sound, but are cut off at the end of phrases with a crispness and attention to detail that really elevate the song and accentuate its dynamics. When the guitars get to stretch their legs, the lead lines are satisfying indeed, echoing the lead vocal’s swagger.
There’s an accompanying video that’s super smart, too. Clips have been harvested from some kind of library site and accompany the Brilliant Jerk! message in a sardonic way that gently pokes fun at the very type of people the song is targeting. Is the message admiration for the lengths of stupidity we’ll go to, or a measure of how stupid we humans can be?
Containing the slightly punky spirit of bands like Dr. Feelgood, it’s well produced, performed and presented – and hooky. It deserves to do well.