The Brain Famine EP
There was a lot to hate about the '80s for anyone unfortunate enough to remember that fell decade: the shoulder pads, Ronald Reagan, the Cola Wars. But putting on Brain Famine's six song EP reminds me that not all of the era is in desperate need of a good Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind-style purge. The Brain Famine EP is a party thrash love letter to an era of flip-brimmed hats, board shorts, skateboards and moshes worthy of being all caught up in.
This Weymouth, Mass., duo, featuring ex-members of Kevorkian's Angels, Today is the Day and Anal Cunt, hit all the classic thrash elements from chugging pit-stirrers to more languid jams filigreed with twisting sinuous leads. Everything is kept crispy and crunchy by a nice, sharp production job.
In a nod to modernity, they pair their thrash with more contemporary grunts'n'growls, but on balance, The Brain Famine EP will feel very familiar. In this instance familiarity doesn't breed contempt, but it doesn't engender any overwhelming excitement either. This brand of retro thrash is getting to be a crowded market and it takes a lot to mark your turf. Outside of a couple of standout tunes like "Die Off" or "Citizen Solution" (the strongest of the lot with its lightning strike guitars), a lot of the EP just evaporates the minute it is over. Instead, the band's choice selection of samples leaves more of an impression. If Brain Famine had a more barreling sense of reckless abandon like contemporaries Spewtilator, the EP would probably have more lasting power. But it won't be a waste of 22 minutes to give it a listen.
[Full disclosure: Brain Famine sent me a download.]