Hissing Prigs review by Jenny Eliscu

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.

–Jenny Eliscu

DATALOG: Released Mar. 26.

FILE UNDER: Frequency Modulation Punk.

R.I.Y.L.: Six Finger Satellite, Devo, Girls Against Boys.