There has been a dearth of catchy Britpop bands recently but if Britpop needed a shot of adrenaline to keep it alive then Killer Brain Waves could be it.
The album certainly starts with a blast, the first three tracks, including the terrific ‘Joy in a Small Wage’, fly by with a real carefree punk feel in the vein of The Only Ones but then it loses its way a little following a more prog rock route through the middle order. Now this is not to say that these were poor tracks just that they didn’t compare to the first few, even the 1:26 blast (attempting to cement their punk credentials maybe?) of ‘The Death of Television’ is not enough to hold the attention. Thankfully the quality returns before the end and it finishes strong.
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All in all, it’s a good album for a new band and could be compared to The Buzzcocks first offering. However, the problem with making comparisons to artistes 30 or 40 years old is that history only lets you remember the good tracks, your own Best Of compilation as it were, but set Killer Brain Waves as a whole against ‘Another Music In A Different Kitchen’ by The Buzzcocks and there are more good tracks on it, it’s two great tracks off being a perfect debut.
The song writing is strong with catchy riffs and lyrics which are of the moment setting them very much in the ‘Here and Now’, the fuzziness of the guitar sound gives them a slightly retro feel without seeming old fashioned – like they’re wearing their dad’s original 70s denim jacket because they know its cool again now. An enjoyable 12 songs over 36 minutes which needs to be followed up with another banger, all they need is their own ‘Ever Fallen In Love’ to hit it big, they’re close.
According to the band’s facebook page “’Killer Brain Waves’ will be BBC Radio 6 Music album of the on 2nd August.” Take a listen and decide for yourselves which tracks belong on The Best of Asylums in 30 years time.
‘Killer Brain Waves’ is out 5/8/16 via Cool Things Records
This Asylums article was written by Richard Dunn, a GIGsoup contributor