BastardHead's review blog. Old reviews from Metal Archives and Metal Crypt will appear here along with shorter, blurbier thoughts I may have on albums that I don't have enough to say about to write a full review. You'll also find a few editorials here.
Wednesday, January 11, 2017
QUICK HITS: Brain Dead - Disaster Ahead
Thrash is known nowadays as an artistic dead end and I continue to refute that notion. However, bands like Brain Dead make it really hard for me to make that case. This is another one of those books you can very accurately judge by its cover, with the cartoon style, plethora of tropes and cliches that add nothing more than a juvenile "wink wink nudge nudge" to the band's image and attitude, and a mascot that is, surprise!, a long haired zombie thrasher with high tops and and upturned flat billed cap. Oddly enough, that sentence actually describes the band's music pretty well too, if that makes sense. If there was some semblance of tongue in cheek self awareness, this kind of thing can work. Smash Potater makes it work, Brain Dead does not. This is played completely straight and it's the exact kind of brainless idiocy that's neither fun nor satisfying to listen to. I love Municipal Waste a whole ton, I can get behind this sort of thing, but Disaster Ahead completely lacks the songwriting ability of those Virginian party animals. The production does nothing to help the stale riffs and cliche yelping vocals, since everything sounds very distant and separate from one another. It just feels hastily slapped together without a whole lot of real thought put into it. For every good idea there are five bad ones. Like some of the riffs are pretty good (like the chugging part in "Last Obsession"), but even the best are creatively bankrupt. It's pretty neat that they felt inspired enough to write an ode to the fallen Scumdog, Oderus Urungus, with "Flight of Oderus", but every other song is the exact toxic waste and thrashing all night and war is hell crap that has been beaten to death for 30 years now. The sample of the "I'm mad as hell" speech from Network is pretty overdone at this point but it does set the stage well as an opening sample, but the rest of the song lets it down with the tired yelping and lame riffage, and the samples that carry out the title track of people telling the band members to get jobs and even a god damned terrible Mickey Mouse impression is just the most obnoxious sequence ever. Listen to those people. Get jobs. This is going nowhere for you guys.