BRAINIAC 5 : Back To The Shore

I reviewed their last album here on here in 2017 and their mix of rock, prog, punk, psych and a touch of freak out is still the selling point of this great band. Look for that review to give you a background of this interesting and long-lived band.

We are now presented with eight new tracks that carry on from the previous album and put a smile on my face. Starting off with the punk-fuelled “Long Enough,” the band really gets things going with a ton of energy and gets the foot tapping right away. Next song is the first part of “Back To Shore,” subtitled “A Woman’s Work” that is more folk-rock oriented and has amazing vocals from Chrissy Quayle, and at over eight minutes long, doesn’t feel like it at all. Second, of four parts of the title track is called “This Way,” and has toasting from Oxman, and great harmonica and guitar playing throughout. The bagpipes and female vocals added to this eclectic track work together so well. The third part, “Tribute To Alex Ward” has bongos and a guitar that is perfectly all over the place in style combined with the sax and everything else going on, all I can say is wow! Last part, “The Seal Man” has a great beat and that sax is just incredible. It reminds me of 808 State a bit and the female vocals come in and kick it up a notch. “Elegy” is the shortest track at just over two minutes and is a beautiful instrumental. Back to more rock-oriented music with the catchy “What We Can” and its great beat. Closing things off is “Breaking Up” and its crunchy, punky sound that ends off another great collection of songs.

With another mix of instruments and styles that you would scratch your head at for trying, this band proves how talent can figure it out and make it work beautifully. Every track has its merits and is perfectly played with more than enough emotion and will find a fit on your playlist.

https://www.facebook.com/TheBrainiac5/?fref=ts

http://www.brainiac5.co.uk/

https://brainiac5.bandcamp.com/album/back-to-shore

https://www.facebook.com/RecklessRecords/

https://reckless.com/

THE BRAINIAC 5: Journey To X

Emerging in the mid-70s out of the UK’s isolated yet thriving South-Western scene, the Brainiac 5 relocated to London, where their Mushy Doubt EP had already caused a stir. Sharing stages with the likes of The Soft Boys and The Barracudas and finding fans in John Peel and Alex Chilton, they split before their debut album World Inside was released through celebrated psych label Reckless.

If you are thinking that this is going to be a punk album, you’re wrong,  if you think that it’s a prog album, you’d still be wrong, it’s got rock, prog, punk, psych and a touch of freak out all mixed together…yeah I know…what the hell, but it works. It has songs as short as “Endless River pt.1,” at only  01:05, songs as long as “The Human Scapegoat,” which clocks in at a staggering 12:10! Starting with “Endless River pt.1,” the band gives us an opener that is very much a ’60s sound that you would think that you picked up the wrong album, but it actually makes sense since the light psych of the song leads into “The Human Scapegoat,” which goes from psych to punk/noise, into a gentle almost lullaby, then back to the psych/prog sound and it’s an epic track to say the least since it flows so well. “Laura Riding” is my favourite song on here with its nod to the glam sound of Bowie and Roxy Music. “At Noon” is a straight forward pop song that has a great chilled out feel to it. “The World Inside” has a smooth jazz sound with the amazing vocals by Jessie Pie, and some terrific guitar playing. “Some Things” has cool harmonica playing and a tougher rock sound like Bowie’s “Scary Monsters (And Super Creeps).” Last song “Kill It” keeps that sound and feel going with a tight groove and more of that great guitar playing.

For a band that has been doing music on and off for around forty years, this is as fresh sounding as a new band, and it’s great to hear them taking chances and doing things that other bands could never emulate. I need to go hunt down their older music now, while I’m doing that, you go out and get this one…and play it a lot.

https://www.facebook.com/TheBrainiac5/

http://www.brainiac5.co.uk/

https://brainiac5.bandcamp.com/

https://www.facebook.com/RecklessRecords/

https://reckless.com/