THE BRAINS - Drunk Not Dead

The Brains - Drunk Not Dead

13 songs
28:49 minutes
***** ***
People Like You


I have never heard of The Brains even though Drunk Not Dead is already the third album by this trio. After my first contact with this rockabilly band, I expected them to be from Germany or England. I’d never have guessed them to come from Canada though. The musicians showed at least some fantasy with their pseudonyms: Rene de la Muerta plays the guitar and sings, Colin The Dead is on double bass – an apparently mandatory instrument for many bands signed to People Like You Records – and the drums are handled by Pat Kadaver.

A short description of their music would be a mix of rockabilly and horror punk, with added elements reminding of Misfits and The Creepshow. The songs are all kept rather shortly and never cross the three minute border. This is explained by the rather fast pace – so don’t expect any schmaltzy ballads – and by the fact that the band is always keeping things pleasantly concise. Although I rarely can find much too like with rockabilly bands, with the exception of The Creepshow, I still have to admit that the Brains have somehow grown on me. One of the reasons is doubtlessly their fast playing, but I also like that they are open to unusual influences. Pourquoi me laisser sounds exotic because of the French lyrics, but also the apparent melancholy allows comparisons to a French chanson. The Mexican sounding Gato Calavera is another upbeat song whose fierce rhythm makes it a winner.

The major difference between The Brains and other rockabilly bands is the former’s heaviness. The Brains have just found the right balance between power and speed where many such bands risk losing themselves in cheesiness. I am convinced that their material will appeal to rockabilly and punk fans alike.

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