It seems like only yesterday I was at the Pound in San Francisco watching some guy spit lyrical poetry between MewithoutYou and Blindside’s sets. That guy was, Bradley Hathaway. I remember listening to his LP after that show and recall being mesmerized by the juxtaposition of prose and melodic transition. Fast forward two more LPs (The Thing That Poets Write About The Thing That Singers Sing About ” and “A Mouth Full of Dust”) and arrive at his new four track EP entitled “A Thousand Angry Panthers ” released in July of 2010. Bradley Hathaway has certainly come a long way transitioning from spoken word to full blown folk. With this release he’s traded in his happy endearing poetry for melancholy purposeful balladry.
A Thousand Angry Panthers gives us a glimpse into Bradley’s life his love and his loss. Although he’s singing about moments and people close to him you can’t help but pick out the details that make it personal for you as well. In Would You Think Less of Me he says “Would you think less of me if I told you how I Feel/I’m as tired as a winter branch is in the trees in the field/For so long they’ve had to carry such a load/ and they fear they may break at the next coming snow.” For however sad the songs seem on the surface there is an undertone of hope. A message of keeping faith and staying true is presented both subtly and powerfully. Subtly in lyric with lines like “The world is screamin’! But you can’t tell me that nobody’s listenin’.” And powerfully in music with the melodic outro in Carolina.
Although there is no repetitive hook in Bradley’s music there is still something that is wonderfully infectious about it. I recommend giving it a listen. That way you’ll truly feel what A Thousand Angry Panthers sounds like.