Brains – Strange Meat (EP Review)

Recession or no recession, this country never stops producing good music and Cork band, Brains are the latest example of that. Formed in 2009, the band play what they describe as ‘blackened rock n roll’ which loosely translated means ‘American styled stoner rock / metal. Not that this comment really does the band justice because their debut EP, Strange Meat is packed with little gems and the odd one we’re still getting our heads around.

Wolfbeast opens things up and we still haven’t decided if we like it or not. It’s a strange one that slips between comical and pretty savage. The chunky bass, the Hammond organ and explosive guitars are excellent and the singer’s voice is powerful during the verses but something happens in the bridge and things go off course a little.  Maybe it’s just because the song is called Wolfbeast and we don’t know the band well enough to let them away it.

Second song 3ft Wide 7ft Tall was the other one we weren’t full sure about at first. Given a few spins though it quickly convinced us to keep going with this band. Opening with a doom, piano / guitar – slowed down black metal styled intro, the song quickly changes into a lighter pop rock styled verse before the booming guitars return for the chorus. Pretty funny in places but works well as a serious number because the music’s there to back it up.

Things really kick off with the guitar driven That Awful Witch which is chuck-full of dueling guitar leads, a funky chunky bass line and some very catchy hooks. An excellent number and a welcome sign that this band are not just here to sing about Wolfbeast and massive women (3ft Wide 7ft Tall isn’t about women TT, listen properly next time – Ed)….then again, AC/DC made a career out of doing that.

Black on Black really gets the full on, hard rock buzz going. Opening with another simple yet atmospheric bass intro, the song is once again filled with hooky guitars, riffs, a belting chorus and some dark fantasy lyrics. The guitar explosion at the end is reminiscent of the Thin Lizzy and sits perfectly well with the slowed down, seventies tone on the song.

Muddy Water opens with a riff that’s become synonymous with the band’s sound after just five songs. It gets a little repetitive but the song itself is great, broken down blues rock with some iconic dark metal sounds thrown in. Lovely guitar work and another credible song to make this a damn fine EP.

Things ain’t over yet however as the fine bumpkin (love that word) guitar intro to the EP’s title track kicks in. Strange Meat breaks the trend of the a crunchy bass intro and dives head first into a chaotic, raw guitar driven track. Tender moments, noisy moments – another winner.

Excellent EP, full of very enjoyable moments and definitely a band to watch if you’re a fan of seventies heavy metal or heavy rock. Like we said there’s a few moments in there where you’re trying to figure out which side you’re on but when Tickets There sees these guys live, we’ll be there singing along to Wolfbeast as loud as we can. Oh, and did we mention you can download it for free from This Location?


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