Reviewed by Meghan Player
In the five years that I have been with Push To Fire, I still love how a band can completely blow my mind when I hear them for the first time. Such is the case for Canadian rockabilly three-piece, The Brains. Forged on the back of nightmare and horrors, the band are a refreshing take on one of my favourite genres – offering an admirable musical sound-scape to boot.
Title track and opener ‘The Monster Within‘, immediately grabs your attention. With a sound lying somewhere between the edge of Living End and the horror punk of the Misfits, the fast-paced swing of the rockabilly/psychobilly beat does everything it possibly can to get you out of your chair and dancing to the infectious rhythms. ‘Give It All‘ follows suit, setting the energy of the previous track up a couple of notches. The sound is fast, furious and downright sinful – but man is it good.
‘Misery’ offers a slight variation in tone and melody, without straying too far from the core ethos of the band. Lyrically, the track [and indeed the album] are imaginative feasts – clawing and crawling their way through some of the darkest, hammer-horror inspired themes that makes me dig this band that little bit more.
‘Stay Back’, ‘Electrik Shock’ and ‘Rest In Pieces’ continue the furiously tight track listing – not once lessening the intensity of the song that proceeded it. It’s by the time that ‘Devil In Disguise’ [not to be confused with the Elvis song] rolls around, you begin to feel that you’ve been dancing forever, completely swept up in the infectious rhythms of the melodies.
Overall [and rather fittingly], ‘The Monster Within‘ seems to be the kind of album that would have inspired picket sign protests in the 1900s for being “the Devil’s music”. The quick-step of the tracks throughout the album are so ridiculously intense, you can feel Hell start to break open and relish in their work. The band are as tight and relevant as they were 10 years ago – an incredible feat by today’s standards – and undoubtedly deserve all kinds of praise for this album.
Thank you The Brains. You’ve got yourselves a new fan.