Hey, hopefully everybody’s been having a good holiday week. With Thanksgiving and Black Friday now past us, it looks like things are finally going back to normal. Well, at least until Christmas gets a little closer anyway. We all know how hectic that gets. To finish up the week I’ve got quite an awesome and interesting record here, and I think yr gonna enjoy it very much.
Hailing from the Windy City comes our new favorite friends BRAIN IDEA. The band is made up of just three dudes but after listening to the music, you might be expecting a bigger number. But that’s besides the point. The three dudes are Ben, Joe, and Grant, and each one of them holds down the bass, the guitar, and the drums, I just don’t know who does what. “The Survival Scrolls” is their first official LP, coming from Permanent Records in Chicago, but it didn’t just come out of nowhere. Permanent Records learned about these guys through their first demo tape (which is now unavailable), but you can read about it right here. If you haven’t noticed, Permanent Records seem to be psyched on these guys, and we’re glad they’re putting this stuff out there.
So, for starters, it appears that most of the material on this LP comes from that first demo tape of theirs. The band re-recorded the majority of that tape for the purpose of this vinyl, only this time they added much more reverb and depth. With that being said, there’s not a doubt in my mind that this record has depth, and not to mention all the reverb.
In terms of depth, this record has it all. Starting from the beginning, you can’t tell right away exactly what direction their going in, and that’s because there’s really not any single direction pinned down. These guys take an array of obscure sounds and genres and mash them together on this record, creating a highly intelligent and unique piece of wax (and don’t forget thought-provoking). Some of the major elements that come through are heavy nods to the post-punk and psychedelics, but these are probably the most obvious. Aside from this, Brain Idea gets their feet wet in the mysterious pool of ambiance (almost kraut-like at times as the songs play into each other), and there’s even a small but noticeable amount of tropicalia-inspired pop gems scattered throughout the record. Some of the more tropical numbers present themselves in the first track “Days Blown Away”, as well as the second half of “Nostalgic Mirage”, and then the evil sounding “Yaweh”. The “tropical” sound I am referring to comes in the bouncy bass lines and the tom-tom driven drumming that can certainly be heard.
The tropical feelings only take up a small portion of the album though, leaving room for a ton of heavenly ambiance (part of “Nostalgic Mirage”, Popped Tops”), throbbing post-punk jams (“Plates”, “The Heat”, “One More Time”) and hazy, bizarre instrumentals (“Spirit of Truth”). “Popped Tops” is especially intriguing as during the last minute some hilariously obscure dialogue comes in during the highly dazed out and heavenly dreamscape, which is probably where they got the name for their record. Deciding which songs to leave you guys with below was pretty difficult, as I want to leave you with a good balance of everything from the record. Hopefully I did a good job. See for yourself right below. If I did my job, you should want to buy it. See ya next week.
Days Blown Away –
Nostalgic Mirage –
Spirit of Truth –
One More Time –
My Rating: 8.6/10
Genre/ Tags: Post-Punk, Psychedelic, Experimental, Lo-Fi
The Survival Scrolls: Tracklist:
1.) Days Blown Away
2.) Nostalgic Mirage
4.) Spirit of Truth
5.) The Heat
6.) One More Time
8.) Getting Older (The Clean)
9.) Popped Tops