Brain Failure is the new Rancid, going for the all-out choruses and fast playing that Rancid has by and large dropped from their new style. One doesnâ€™t really hear much in popular music coming from China, and Brain Failure is probably the best introduction to the worldâ€™s most populous nation that I could conceivably come up with. I almost feel bad that I never picked up the fourth volume of Give â€˜Em The Boot, because Brain Failureâ€™s track would have almost made the price of the disc worth it. There is no respite on this album, no time to breathe and Brain Failure, being around for such a long period, knows how to stoke up the fires dormant in every listenerâ€™s chest. Each song is almost as much of a punk rock anthem as those cuts on Roger Miretâ€™s new album, containing a catchy song structure and an on-again, off-again Tim Armstrong vocal imitation by Xiao Rong. The multiple-chorus of a track like â€œFun and Fight Tonightâ€ will drill itself into a listeners head, and the easy choruses will ensure a large crowd at each of their shows singing right along.
The bassline that starts off â€œ8899â€ leads into a guitar riff that seems perfect on The Offspringâ€™s â€œIgnitionâ€ EP, and really is the first solid step away from the Rancid-mold that Brain Failure had exploited up to that point. The Ramones-esque vocal chorus links the past to the semi-present, and makes the track one of the best on the disc. Ken Casey (Dropkick Murphies) produced/mastered this album and eir endows it with an energy that surpasses that on the average Dropkick Murphies album. While I would like to hear more of Brain Failure as a band instead of the tremendous list of their influences, the simple fact is that the band plays punk rock in a way that would put all but the best bands in the scene to shame.
Mixing in a little ska during â€œSuch A Dangerousâ€, Xiaoâ€™s vocals sound as smooth and clear as a Jamaican legend instead of being some random Chinese person â€“ gone is the broken English of bands like Laughing Cunts, but rather a true international effort. Being around for such a long period of time, Brain Failure has influenced legions of new follows in their native China, and these new bands could not have had a better group of people to look up to!
Top Tracks: 8899, Coming To The USA
Brain Failure â€“ American Dreamer / 2005 Thorp Records / 16 Tracks / http://www.brainfailure.com / http://www.thorprecords.com / Reviewed 18 March 2005