Brain F≠'s Sleep Rough | Record Review | Indy Week
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Brain F≠'s Sleep Rough 

(Grave Mistake/ Sorry State)

Sleep Rough, the debut LP from Charlotte's Brain F≠ (pronounced Brain Flannel), will not bowl you over with production values. The garage punk quartet seems to play through a fuzzy filter that shows competent and consistent, if never wowing, engineering. Songwriting won't be an immediate highlight, either—sure, the words are clever and catchy, but they're blunted by distortion and don't make an impression during the first few listens. What is immediately apparent—and makes Sleep Rough a record that will instantly drill itself into the head of most any loud-rock fan—is the band's endless churning, wrought by a precise mix of mind-rattling hooks and bone-crushing riffs.

Brain F≠'s instrumental core is truly a marvel. Drummer Bobby Michaud re-installs the pounding aggression he serviced in now-defunct noise-rock powerhouse Grids. Relocated to bass, Eddie Schneider forces the same never-ending momentum that he produces behind the kit as part of Yardwork's endlessly energetic pop-rock. Nick Goode blazes over the top, laying down riffs that ricochet wildly before landing with gut-checking force. It's a sound that sticks with you, and the band's razor-sharp hooks ensure it lodges permanently. Goode and singer Elise Anderson vocally dance around each other, alternating in antiphony to create neatly choreographed cacophony. Anderson's clean, dry tone pops like that of Madonna, but resounds with Kim Gordon's postmodern disdain. Goode matches her candy-coated cynicism with an exasperated bark. On standouts, like the triumphant closer "Fall Apart," they bob to and fro among the musical tumult, unleashing words in a tumble of winning phrases, each one more magnetic than the last.

Sleep Rough gets most of its mileage from this maneuver, and that's OK: It's enough to just bask in Brain F≠'s roar.

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Where is the Q and A with Pepper?

by Alex Marsh on Record Review: Hardcore Titans Corrosion of Conformity Bring Pepper Keenan Back Into the Fold (Record Review)

There's bass in this. It's not a duo, at least in the recordings. …

by Steve Grothmann on Record Review: Raleigh's Naked Naps Explore Urgency on Year of the Chump (Record Review)

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Where is the Q and A with Pepper?

by Alex Marsh on Record Review: Hardcore Titans Corrosion of Conformity Bring Pepper Keenan Back Into the Fold (Record Review)

There's bass in this. It's not a duo, at least in the recordings. …

by Steve Grothmann on Record Review: Raleigh's Naked Naps Explore Urgency on Year of the Chump (Record Review)

Remember that time the "journalist" took to the comments section to fire off a snarky response when called out on …

by JayDubz on Record Review: Raleigh's Naked Naps Explore Urgency on Year of the Chump (Record Review)

Pretty sure that if the press release we received had mentioned Chris Grubbs, the article would have reflected that crucial …

by David Klein on Record Review: Raleigh's Naked Naps Explore Urgency on Year of the Chump (Record Review)

Pretty sure John Meier hasn't been in this band for quite some time and Chris Grubbs wrote and recorded this …

by JayDubz on Record Review: Raleigh's Naked Naps Explore Urgency on Year of the Chump (Record Review)

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