Wednesday 25 March 2020
THE BURNING BRAIN BAND ~ THE BURNING BRAIN BAND ...... review
When you find that the cool name you picked for your band is also being used by numerous other bands it's time to make a change. This was the case with Columbus, Ohio's Druid, the band had released a mightily impressive stream of EP's and albums under the collective banner of "Druid" but were constantly being confused with several bands of the same name (or similar) and so the decision was made to become The Burning Brain Band. This name change has had a two-fold effect in that not only is there no more confusion as to which "Druid" you are listening to but has also allowed the band a certain amount of freedom to alter their musical approach without being accused of deserting their core sound... as the bands latest (or should we say debut), "The Burning Brain Band", more than testifies to.
Things begin spacey, lysergic and instrumental with the appropriately titled "Launch Sequence" a track that begins with a NASA like countdown then takes off in a million and one directions all at once, utilising Hawkwind-esque swoops and swirls and guitar tones not too dissimilar to those once emanating from the fingers of Quicksilver Messenger Service's John Cipollina."Brain Food" follows the song opening its account with a Byrds-like guitar intro before slipping into a psychedelic tinted classic rock groove that is taken to another level by its easy on the ear vocal melodies and harmonies. The title of next track, "Bolero/Floating Away", suggests two songs stitched together and that's exactly what you get, the "Bolero" part a Latinesque instrumental with neo-classical guitar textures, the "Floating Away" section a semi folk(ish) lament backed with shimmering percussion and lysergic guitar colouring. The band dabble with elements of electronica and krautrock for next track "Interlude (Still Running)" then do a ninety degree turn back into traditional territory for the delightful "The Dreamer" a wonderful blend of Americana and English folk rock. The band close things out with a superb rendition of the old blues staple "Parchman Farm", proving that under all their psychedelic experimentation and back to nature folksiness they are still at heart a bunch of hairy assed rockers.
New name, new album, new songs and new approach but with the same levels of musicianship, attention to detail and focus, that made their previous efforts as Druid such a joy to listen to, makes "The Burning Brain Band" one of the best not really a debut debuts your likely to hear this year.
Check it out …..
© 2020 Frazer Jones