Anderson Briefcase – S/T

Originally known as The Pete O’Connell Trio, Anderson Briefcase was formed when Pete O’Connell met up with bassist Andrea Bonetto while playing guitar on the street in Zurich, Switzerland. A few years later, they added drummer Jody Daub and created this self-dubbed “eclectic acoustic trio.”

Pete and Andrea have been playing together since 1991, and the band has since been around the world, having played in 21 countries, including Japan, South Africa, Uruguay and Scotland. However, it wasn’t until the year 2000 that Anderson Briefcase’s self-released, self-titled debut, recorded in their home territory of Ottawa, was released.

After listening to the opening two tracks, the 8-second “Your Attention Please” and the first actual song, “The Back Tire,” you feel as though you should be watching Sesame Street. Then, you get knocked back a step by the more dramatic “Rosheen,” and you start to take the album a bit more seriously.

Overall, Anderson Briefcase’s debut is a very catchy blend of quirky, upbeat tunes like “Dawning Moon” and “The Back Tire,” more thoughtful, serious songs like “Rosheen” and “The Phone Call,” and some that sit in between, like the lovely “Little Thing” and “Poor Friends.”

There is a wide range of vocal stylings, with all three band members sharing the vocal duties. There is also a considerable amount of intriguing instrumentation and varying influences throughout the course of the album, which, in addition to peculiar but intelligent lyrics, always keeps you on your toes. It all makes for a sound that has not really been attempted before; pushing the limits and squeezing between strictly defined genres. The trio seems to believe in their new style though, because for just under 40 minutes, they play it quite well.