It isn’t everyday you hear the phrase “Petrochemical oligarch” used in the context of a three-minute rock song. Or anywhere else for that matter. But then Whatever Brains’ self-titled debut is far from an everyday occurence. With lyrics like those, and others about paedophile priests, heart attacks at 35, gay sons and husbands joining the Taliban, it may come as little surprise that the surrealist rants of the Fall figure heavily among the Raleigh N.C. combo’s influences, along with Les Savy Fav’s angular new wave punk, Polvo’s twisting avant-rock and Unwound’s calculated brutality. Released on vinyl on the regional Sorry State imprint, the record stands at odds with much of the label’s other, more hardcore-orientated output (Double Negative, Shards etc) but don’t confuse the group’s skewed pop sensibility with anything approaching accessibility; sure, there are riffs and hooks aplenty here, but they’re less likely to stick in your head than they are to coolly and methodically bludgeon it in. Those starting to grow impatient waiting for a new Future Of The Left album will find plenty here to scratch that particular itch, and whilst Whatever Brains’ manic, violent racket is as unhinged as anything you’ll hear this year, it’s also devillishly good fun.
Listen: Various tracks http://whateverbrains.bandcamp.com/
Buy the album from Sorry State Records: http://www.sorrystaterecords.com/index.php?main_page=product_info&products_id=2531