18 Jan 2016

Brainerd: "Brainerd/The Goat"

Sonic suckerpunches and musical roundhouse kicks
Once in a while a band comes along that just grabs you by the balls and pulls you in with everything they've got. One such band might be Brainerd from the US. One day they'll just show up at your front door, drag you in their rusty ol' van filled with fucked up gear to produce their dirty garage sound with smashing riffs and barked vocals.

It's like you have no idea what they'll do next. It's not that they're random or unfocused, but their style is a ghastly hybrid between Entombed's Wolverine Blues, Metallica and pinches of hard rock and punk. What they do they do proficiently, and they're not about to let someone take that away from them. The album is not modern in structure, but not wholeheartedly traditional or old school either - Rather, it feels like an appropriate mix of the two. Sure they aren't breaking their limbs playing super-speed, but their mid-to-slow paced motherfucker-metal is as straightforward as a fist to the face, but slightly more enjoyable. There are so many different facets to their 9 tracks, and describing them all here wouldn't be beneficial to anyone. There are hints of psychedelia, doomy parts, esoteric babble and much much more to be found.

Simplicity is, paradoxically, a complicated thing. Make it too simple and it's boring. Make it too intricate and it becomes a complicated mess. Bands like Motörhead and to some extent AC/DC have mastered the fine art of balancing music so it becomes simple yet fantastic. Brainerd has achieved something akin to that - Making music just simple enough to be easily memorable with lots of hooks, but still make room for surprises.

"Their self-titled album... ...is rather just that, an album, and not a collection of catchy elements smacked together to form a mocking imitation of one."

It's refreshing to get an album that isn't focused particularly on hooks, riffs, melodies or any one element. Their self-titled album, though also known as "The Goat", is rather just that, an album, and not a collection of catchy elements smacked together to form a mocking imitation of one. They're centered not around individual parts, but on songwriting. Through and through they've packed this album with great songs and great musicianship. Bravo.


Released in 2009 by Zodiac Killer Records

Brainerd on MYSPACE

What did you think about Brainerd's self-titled album?

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