The Brainstems - No Place Else

by Jim Harris Rating:9 Release Date:2015-11-28

From St. Louis comes a true garage-punk/post-punk wonderland of an album from The Brainstems called No Place Else. With the opening song jamming true punk sloppy and the lyric of "I’m a mother fucking stallion" sung in a sort of nerdy punk voice that leads to another lyric of eating a croissant, there is no resisting this band. We need more bands like this.

The Brainstems didn’t begin too long ago and after listening to this one you can forgive them for starting out as a Ty Segall cover band. There is a heavy dose of irony and parody in their punk sound but after the first few songs, by God, this band gets better, with vocals very similar to the Parquet Courts, and St. Louis-specific landmark lyrics addressing racial redlines and the Art Museum and such, that are as deadpan, poetic, and observant as Ought.

The Brainstems aren’t just a punk band.  They jam along like the Meat Puppets and Butthole Surfers and any number of those seminal punk bands from the Ork label in the 70s.  But even on a near-ballad like the track ‘What it is’ they still capture that Lou Reed/Jim Carroll band sound, if not with a pleasantly rockabilly finale.  This is a modern scuzz band at its finest.

If your catalog is missing a bang it up garage band album of the finest order this year, give The Brainstems a listen.  A top album of 2015.

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