Room for one more on the list of Album Of The Year candidates?
It may be full already but there is always a place for albums as irresistible and explosively potent as The Monster Within, the latest album from Canadian rockers The Brains. Fusing insatiable encounters of psychobilly and horror punk with straight down the line rock ‘n’ roll, the fourteen track release is one determined and virulently contagious ride before which resistance is futile, especially if the genre ignites furnaces of fire deep inside like for us.
The Monster Within is the band’s sixth album and stands before the ear to prove once again that The Brains just continue to get better and musically they are full bodied like vintage wine with each passing record. The band has lit up every corner of the world through their breath-taking live performances, which haves seen them play with the likes of Mad Sin, The Offspring, The Reverend Horton Heat, The Real McKenzies, The Creepshow and many more, no continent safe from their epidemic toxin of sound, but it might just be that their new album is their finest moment yet. Released via Sailors Grave Records and Stomp Records in Canada, its towering presence can be best described as Rezurex meets Grumpynators with Volbeat, Calabrese, and Tiger Army adding their juices to the mix. What emerges is a sound and release which is truly distinctive to The Brains and an incendiary device for the heart.
The trio of vocalist/guitarist Renè De La Muerte, bassist Collin The Dead, and drummer Pat Cadaver do not hold anything back from the opening note of the first up title track. Energy and riffs are immediately enslaving the ear with relish and hunger as a storm of rockabilly and heavy rock, from which you almost expect Lemmy to step out of, absorb the senses with the outstanding tones of De La Muerte holding court. The music embraces him in powerful and melodic enterprise, everything feeding the awakened passions before them. It is a storming mix of light and dark wrapped in an infection to which escape is impossible from song and subsequently the album as it unleashes more individual but just the same addictive alchemy.
Give It All takes over with a slightly more restrained attack though no less lethal for resistance, its anthemic chorus and full on rhythmic temptation just one of its many lures. The varied and textured mix of sound and flavours across the album ensures that every moment is ridiculously compelling and this track is no exception, in fact one of the most intensively submission ripping triumphs.
A Stray Cats tonic sprays out as Misery unveils its frenetic dance within a blaze of vibrant melodic flames, a cage of frenetic rhythms trapping the passions in a state of ardour whilst the swagger which drives the track home only lights stronger rabidity for what is to come, something which the likes of The Damned and Bleed only encourage further with their devilish teasing. The first of the pair is a smouldering melodic caress hanging onto a rapidly coursing rhythmic and energetic gait whilst its successor lays down a trail of schizophrenic beats and riffs for the melodic breeze of vocals and guitar seduction to light deeper far reaching flames. There is a heat to the song which transports the imagination to climes where sweat on the brow is a given, the same result as achieved by the driving predation of the excellent Stay Back, its uncompromising rock ‘n’ roll passion igniting another anthemic union.
There is not one moment of weakness or a lull in the flow of the album’s quality and glory, the scintillating Electrik Shock with its underlying teasing Cajun twang and the demonically tempting Rest In Pieces with its venomous narrative simply sucking greater rapture from the heart whilst the glorious surf rock instrumental Cucaracha In Leather finds a somewhat carnivorous fascination for the senses and imagination to work with. The track is a shoe-in for a Tarantino movie somewhere surely.
Suddenly the album seems to lose focus and control…yeah as if. Both Kill Kill and Suffering And Pain seize their moment to ravage and simultaneously exhilarate the ear, their different but kindred charge of rhythmic rapacity and melodic paintwork adding another unique gloss to the emotions. The first finds a low whisper of Eastern mystique to its body whilst the second strolls confidently with a wily enchantment of those ever persuasive vocal harmonies and twisted mischievous guitar invention.
Devil In Disguise and Lies combine to ensure the album does not leave until a visit to their blood drenched sinister hop is taken, their exceptional control of the listeners limbs, voice, and energy surely meaning they are on the most wanted list of perpetrators. They leave Rolling Down to mop up the sweat soaked floor with its melodic, almost pop like croon, though all it wants to do is dance which it does successfully with guitar and drums expanding on the bass led potent diablerie.
The Monster Within is just magnificent, an album with all the majesty to be looked at as one of the true rock ‘n’ roll classics. The Brains has just become the new lust for the site, come join us.
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