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Whatever Brains (NC, TUMBLR)
Frustrations (X records, Detroit, SOUNDCLOUD)
Friend Collector (FACEBOOK)
Balls to the Wall
at Emerald City, in the Copycat Annex
Bands are getting noisier. It’s either lo-fi or it’s loud, it’s hazy or “experimental,” and overall, yeah, it’s noisy. But sometimes all that dissonance can sound downright disaffected. That’s why it’s been hard for me to contain my excitement over the three tracks that make up Whatever Brains’ addictive new 7”, “Mt. Whatever”. However regrettable the moniker may be, these strident, Raleigh, North Carolina, thrash-brats are plugging into an inspiriting boisterousness that’s been too often lost in all the feedback.
The single’s “Summer Jammin’” is one of the few existing Whatever Brains’ songs that doesn’t surrender to the panicked, paranoid histrionics they seem so fond of, running at half-speed and indulging in that waltzy guitar jangle that got people so excited about Black Lips a few years ago. Singer Rich Ivey seems inspired by Trail of Dead’s Conrad Keely, able to soar above the dredge and manic attention deficit to attain something positively emotive and melodic. “Jammin’” is certainly a little deranged and a little bleary-eyed (let’s just say that if Travis Bickle ever decided to start a garage band, the Brains would be out of a job), but by the time that tidal-wave of a chorus kicks in, you’d be hard pressed to find a soul in the joint unable to throw his arms up in testimony.