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CD Review: Brandon Kirkley & The Firecrackers 

The Deal: Charlotte quartet Brandon Kirkley & The Firecrackers independently releases six-song EP, What We Thought We Knew.

The Good: The band offers up pop-rock tunes on its debut. "One to None" has a radio-friendly groove to it and building chorus that you can easily see might be a live staple in their set. Singer Kirkley shows a bit of range in his vocals on "You Don't Know" with moments of falsetto and a bit of that rock 'n' roll power scream. The harmonica gave a nice touch on "Sunset City."

The Bad: I'm not too sure what to think of the sound production. The lead guitar is overpowering in the mix which is distracting throughout most of the tracks, and sometimes enough to wash over the vocals – something that surely gets ironed out in the live show. I'm not a fan of the campy use of the band name – "firecrackers" – in the lyrics of "Sunset City."

The Verdict: Not to be demeaning, but the album was the musical equivalent of a cardboard box – it's solid, sturdy, not flashy ... it simply gets the job done. There were a handful of standout moments on an EP that would be called, "Good." I wasn't blown away, or disappointed – simply satisfied.

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