Release date: April 7, 2018
BRASS delivers a very, uh, BRASS record with sophomore album For Everyone. Obviously punk without fitting neatly into a subgenre (that’s a good thing, by the way), the band has its own sound which it has brought nigh to perfection on this 15-track release.
As if to highlight that signature noisy, menacing, vehement, upbeat sound, the LP kicks off with the very un-BRASS ‘Coral,’ two minutes of delicate piano which provide the calm before the storm.
Shouted, chanted refrains on ‘Bad Habits,’ ‘Critic,’ ‘Set Yer Phaserz 2 Gun,’ ‘Stoke Machine,’ and, well, every track bar two are classic BRASS and contribute to the visceral experience of the band’s live shows, making it easy for the crowd to shout along with lead singer Devon Motz.
Honestly, it is the intensity of BRASS’ live performances that have earned them a place in my heart. And that is something the band has struggled to replicate on past recordings, but on For Everyone, I am happy to say they fucking nailed it. The recordings are more polished than 2015’s No Soap Radio but retain enough rawness and energy to balance that out.
Some tracks on the album, particularly ‘Bad Habits,’ could be mistaken for party rock, given a superficial listen. That track and others make you want to move and could definitely be the soundtrack to a bender with your buds.
However, there is an underlying rage and alienation running through the album which brings depth to the listening experience. Listening to Devon scream lyrics such as “Be aggressive! Be, be aggressive” (on ‘Disco’) or “You’re not listening, not listening to them!” (on ‘Imminent’), you still feel that solidarity with the band, but now, it is through shared frustration — something the best of rock music often conjures in its longstanding role as the music of misfits and outsiders. But it’s a joyous rage — let’s be misfits together.
It is hard for me to pick a standout track as there isn’t a weak one, but the sub-1-minute intensity of ‘East Van Musk’ comes to mind. The meaty riff is an instant headbanger and the simplicity of the shouted chorus begs for you to join in.
The album ends on another un-BRASS track, ‘Blue Pt. 2,’ which offers up the kind folky strumming you’d expect on a Nick Drake album. As a chance to catch your breath after the onslaught of the last eight tracks, though, it’s just right.
To get your grubby mitts on For Everyone by BRASS, head over to Bandcamp where you will find the album available on CD and digital download after its April 7 release.
BRASS is holding an album release party at The Cobalt on Saturday, April 7, with support from Anchoress, Frank Love and Glad Rags. I highly recommend you check it out.