by Jenny Eliscu
Brainiac is like Saturday Night Fever gone punk. This is punk rock you can dance to (no, not mosh, dance) and even though Moog-enhanced punk has recently become all the rage, the heart and soul of Brainiac has always been its electro-experimentalism. Since its formation in 1992, the Dayton, Ohio quartet has flaunted its strange, spastic, Moog-heavy rock like a badge of honour, and Hissing Prigs in Static Couture, the band’s third long-player, is no exception. Though the high-impact rhythms and loud guitar distortion reveal an affinity for post-Sonic Youth punk, the songs sometimes sound like your radio dial is stuck between a blues station and a punk station, and picking up random signal disturbance at the same time. Part of that disturbance is Tim Taylor’s completely manic Chester Cheetah vocals: he backs up his own deep, sexy melodies with a screeching, bug-like falsetto, all the while pounding his Moog to high hell. A couple of numbers sound like space-age garage rock, as ragged guitar parts and fast, skiffle rhythms are accompanied by weird dog-whistle Moog screeching. At the end of the record, Brainiac offers a bit of lyrical self-definition: “I am a cracked machine/…I am your favorite DJ/…I am a hot shot robot.” True, so very true.
DATALOG: Released Mar. 26.
FILE UNDER: Frequency Modulation Punk.
R.I.Y.L.: Six Finger Satellite, Devo, Girls Against Boys.