Sophomore full-length from Champaign-Urbana band marked by its passionate vocals, excellent wordplay, dueling guitars, and a relentless rhythm section; powerful sounds with a heart of gold. Once the heir apparent to the post-Fugazi/Jawbox throne of emo-whatever, Braid decided to call it quits in the Summer of '99.
Braid's line-up for The Age Of Octeen features singer/guitarist Bob Nanna (Hey Mercedes!, Friction, The City On Fim, and The Sky Corvair), bassist Todd Bell (Hey Mercedes!, lowercase n, Mary Me, and Grand Theft Autumn Records co-owner), drummer Roy Ewing (Very Secretary, Days In December, lowercase n, Mary Me, Grand Theft Autumn Records co-owner), and guitarist Chris Broach (L'Spaerow, The Firebird Band/The Firebird Suite/The Firebird Project, and Lucid Records owner).
Tightly wound passion with powerfully anthemic vocals & insightful lyrics on 2nd album from this pre-Hey Mercedes band. Confident & catchy stuff indeed. A+
Like Jawbox, Jawbreaker, Fugazi, Shudder To Think, Gauge, and Sunny Day Real Estate? Love Braid.
Magnet Magazine: "Thank God that good, clean-cut punk (the Hanes basic-colored-pocket-T-shirt kind) still scratches a musical itch in this fickle world. Don't know about you, but I get nervous when I hear a lot of that lo-fi, pathetic aesthetic crap; makes me want to put on an old Circus Lupus CD and take clippers to my hair. When I get in such a mood, bands like Braid restore my faith; the Urbana, IL quartet lays a foundation of jangly guitar and frenetic bass, gravels it up with some jazzy drums and paves the whole thing over with lots of vocals... Love it. Don't let anyone tell you there aren't any great new bands out there as long as Braid is still wound together."
All Music Guide: "Braid's second full-length, The Age of Octeen, exudes a passion and roughness reminiscent of high school. From the boyish shouted/sung vocals to the straightforward, punk-influenced guitars to the lyrics dealing with failed relationships and memories, the album has an unpolished, garage-band energy. Although the album has that raw quality, there isn't a weak track on it... Overall, The Age of Octeen is a solid effort that manages to capture the abandon and freedom of being 19."
Chart Attack: "In the late '90s there was a band from Chicago that dressed up quirky rock music with smart-alec lyrics. Called Braid, they were regarded as one of the more original purveyors of a mid-west emo sound due to such influential records as The Age Of Octeen, Frame and Canvas. And then in the spring of 2000 they broke up. Braid's popularity has, remarkably, increased ever since."
Delusions Of Adequacy: "For those unfamiliar with Braid, this band bridged the gap between chaotic urgency and more melodic emotion. They have been lumped in with both the emo and post-hardcore categories. Their music started out angry and loose, with screaming and constant time changes, and it developed into songs that are catchy, clever, and fun. The band has been listed as an influence by countless bands, despite their relatively short life, and so this provides a proper celebration of their musical lives& The Age of Octeen, Braid's second full-length, is a transition between their old, very rough and shouted incoherent music and their newer, more melodic and well-sung music. The catchy hooks of Frames and Canvas are here, as are the raspy, sung-said vocals. There's some little jazzy numbers that are kinda nice, showing maturity. This album lacks the cohesiveness that Frames and Canvas features, but it's bounds above their first full-length."
Lost at Sea: "Age of Octeen, the band's second full length, released on Champaign's MUD Records, really showed the band coming into their own in terms of style, and the quality of material was leaps and bounds above FWBA5. What made the difference? "Maturity, if you want to call it that - musically I guess - because it was the first album that we all wrote together, and it was only really a year's worth of material. We were also touring a lot more and worrying about getting older."