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Review: 'The Brainiac 5'
'Back To Shore'   

-  Label: 'Reckless Records'
-  Genre: 'Rock' -  Release Date: '5.4.19.'-  Catalogue No: 'CD108'

Our Rating:
The Brainiac 5 are back with what they describe as a more experimental album than usual, which considering how freaky the bands output has been over the years is saying something.

So sit back imbibe something suitable and enjoy the trip.
The album opens with Long Enough that is a forceful and pretty urgent psych rocker with the bands normal over verbose lyrics being written by EE Cummings as he considers Is Freedom Is A Breakfast Food fighting against some great mad dog guitar.

We then got to the first of the album's central song cycle Back To Shore Pt 1: A Womans Work has odd time signatures going round the central loop that was sent out to various band members to add too. The addition of female vocals helps us to wonder if they will ever find that way back to shore among the gentle lilt they go off of as the tin whistle comes in and it becomes a psych rock madrigal that then the flute solo leads us into a kind of odd breakdown before it explodes like they have set off the distress flares and someone's found a compass and some charts as the loop becomes more of a raga to work around with stormy guitars and birdsong.

Back To Shore PT 2: This Way begins its journey as if they have some Incredible string to lash the sails with it has a dubby feel to it as Oxman toasts his way to shore. This has all sorts of strange instrumentation around the central guitar solo that battles against the raging harmonica as they try to get to that mythical Island and safe harbour the piper is searching for, as trouble arrives in the screaming bagpipes wailing against the looped bassline they may never find shore again and the food is running out as we cruise through a mystical haze hoping for a clear view.

Back To Shore Part 3: Tribute To Alex Ward and the haze has cleared and the waters become choppy once more as the Mad Dog growls and barks his message hoping for a reply from that ever revolving loop as it feels like they may have hit the rocks and are in trouble with the Jazz fusion waves crashing over the dubs at them thinks sound desperate and desolate.

Back To Shore Pt 4: The Seal Man it feels like they are in the life raft and floating back to shore which those rocks signify are only about 12 minutes away at the conclusion of this 36 minute trip with great sax floating by as the locals can just about be heard drumming on the beach and the sea undulates nicely as the loop gets funkier and we all keep chanting back to shore our mantra and as land is just about in sight now the seals are swimming with us as they try to help us unlock the mythical gate between the sea and land. Is that the Harbour bell I can hear as we gentle float towards dry land.

Elegy changes the mood and is a downbeat memorial with lovely acoustic guitar and minimal instrumentation almost like an interlude.
What We Can sounds more like classic Brainiac 5 with Charlie Taylors vocals front and centre in a way they haven't been since Long Enough it's a nice slightly off centre psych rocker that feels like they've come down a bit while they are still searching for an holy ambulance.

The album closes with Breaking Up a good break up tune with nice mad freaky musical blasts as Charlie tells us all bout how your Breaking up and he's screaming at the indistinct voices on his mobile and in his head of course it explodes musically with more of Mad Dog Kerr's distorted guitar squiggles breaking everything apart by the end.

For lovers of freaky psych please go and find out more at www.brainiac5.co.uk www.facebook.com/TheBrainiac5
  author: simonovitch

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