Reviews Brainworms II: Swear to Me

Brainworms

II: Swear to Me

There is a caustic, angry, and somewhat aimless feel permeating Swear to Me that convinces me that Brainworms is a good name for the band.

They remind me of a lot of 80s punk where the band does one dissonant thing while the singer goes off into his own world. Every so often the two different styles converge, bringing a powerful nexus as a result, but in the meantime what you hear is a meandering wall of anger. The record generally utilizes this approach in every song, but Brainworms keeps from redundancy with an instrumental track in the middle and “Whatever, That’s How You Get Famous,” in which singer Butler begins the song with a spoken word delivery that falls between Jello Biafra and Lee Raback of Warsawpack, continually speeding up until the song is a beautiful clusterfuck of frustrated noise.

Butler comes across as a sweaty, ranting madman and I imagine a lot of broken items flying through the air while he howls into the mic like an ADD David Yow. For as little range as he shows as a singer, the songs differentiate themselves very well, relying not only on the record’s arrangement, but also the rhythm section’s ability to steer the angling guitars in different directions. The guitars remind me of Big Black’s clangy style, but more relentless and violent, with Small and Trache doubtlessly having thick calluses from beating their instruments for such an extensive amount of time.

It can be a bit overwhelming to take in this much sonic violence, as enjoying it takes a keen listen, but the payoff is worth it and I’m definitely intrigued to see them live. Besides, if you don’t love the song title “Vulgar Display of Flowers,” you either have no soul or you didn’t own any Pantera cassettes when you were thirteen. After listing to Swear to Me, I’m pretty sure that these guys did.

7.1 / 10Loren
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