Hailing from the ever-expanding music scene in Portland comes the electrified-pop duo known as BRAINSTORM. The band is made up of just two guys who together take a little bit of all your favorite genres and do a hell of a job mashing them up into one single track. Usually this feat is seemingly a recipe for complete disaster in music, but Brainstorm passed the test with flying colors. Both members help out on the chanting, tribal-like vocals, but there are still plenty of other things going on. Adam Baz holds down the drums and keyboards while Patrick Phillips takes on the guitar and tuba. Tuba? Yeah, Brainstorm has that.
While it is quite difficult to pin down some of the sounds you hear in the songs, there are still elements that stand out more than others. Like the spiritual journey through the B-side track “Word Up”. Chanting vocals and lightning fast guitar licks help give the song an ethnic feel, ranging from “Colombian Cumbia” to “African High-Life”, but it basically all comes down to what you think. Towards the middle the song slows down a bit, clearing a nice path for the unusual tuba to make it’s humble appearance. The last two minutes suddenly come out of nowhere, turning into an instrumental onslaught complete with rampant drumming and fiery guitar licks. This is almost like a bonus track included on the 7″, because it’s considered to be a completely different song aside from “Word Up”. It’s called “Upward” just in case you’re curious.
And then let’s not forget about the A-side, “Beast in the Sky”. More frantic drumming and blazing guitars fill out this track, but right around the 1:45 mark, some nautical sounding keyboards come in to steal the show. This careful keyboard work is enough to crack a huge smile on your face as you suddenly decide that you’re going to play this song at least one more time. These songs are without a doubt unique in their own right – and mixed with their high energy approach – are sure to drop some jaws. Now this has me wondering what a live show with Brainstorm would be like. Hopefully we’ll all know soon enough.
Beast in the Sky –
Word Up –
My Rating: 7.5/10
Genre/ Tags: Experimental, Pop
Beast in the Sky 7″: Tracklist:
1.) Beast in the Sky
2.) Word Up