Brad: United We Stand

Stone Gossard’s two-decade-old side project returns.

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United We Stand is an old-fashioned album, in ways both good and bad.

It’s a succinct 10 tracks, and if it was on vinyl you’d listen to the first side over and over again, immersing yourself in the sunny, soulful opening ‘Na na na...’s of Miles Of Rope, and the acoustic guitar and piano finesse of The Only Way. Then there’s the standout title track, and the angular Diamond Blue, where Shawn Smith’s love-’em-or-hate-’em vocals elevate a sub-Pearl Jam rocker to something much more enticing.

Unfortunately, the album loses focus from here. Needle And Thread, eerily reminiscent of Smith’s solo composition My Very Best, is the latter half’s standout.

But take consolation that a not-quite-top-of-their-game Brad is still 10 times better than most things you’ll hear this month.

Sian Llewellyn
Classic Rock, Editor

Classic Rock editor Siân has worked on the magazine for longer than she cares to discuss, and prior to that was deputy editor of Total Guitar. During that time, she’s had the chance to interview artists such as Brian May, Slash, Jeff Beck, James Hetfield, Sammy Hagar, Alice Cooper, Manic Street Preachers and countless more. She has hosted The Classic Rock Magazine Show on both TotalRock and TeamRock radio, contributed to CR’s The 20 Million Club podcast and has also had bylines in Metal Hammer, Guitarist, Total Film, Cult TV and more.  When not listening to, playing, thinking or writing about music, she can be found getting increasingly more depressed about the state of the Welsh national rugby team and her beloved Pittsburgh Steelers.