Brainiac - The Predator Nominate EP Music Album Reviews

Brainiac - The Predator Nominate EP Music Album Reviews
A set of previously unreleased demos for the influential Dayton band’s never-completed major label debut offers a fascinating glimpse into their strange, singular evolution.

First Ohio, then the world. Brainiac laughed at their own ambition with the tongue-in-cheek cover of their 1995 Internationale EP, which read “Dayton London Paris Tokyo Berlin Moscow.” Still, the band moved from strength to strength with amazing rapidity: A tour with the Jesus Lizard led to a show at Lollapalooza which turned into an opening slot for Beck. A single on Limited Potential earned them an album on Grass Records which caught the attention of Touch and Go. By 1997, Brainiac was one of the most sought-after bands in the post-Nirvana era, fielding phone calls from Rick Rubin and negotiating million-dollar record deals. The pressure led to fistfights and panic attacks until they settled on a contract with Interscope. Then, disaster struck. Lead singer and songwriter Timmy Taylor died in a car accident in May 1997. All at once, the band’s limitless potential was cut short. Brainiac’s thwarted evolution has haunted fans ever since; it’s impossible to imagine next steps when a group takes such creative leaps. The Predator Nominate EP, a collection of demos from this era, gives the fullest picture yet of Brainiac in their final months.

Brainiac started out strange and only grew stranger. Taylor’s fascination with synthesizers—tremendously unhip among rock bands in the early ’90s—set them apart in the wake of the grunge explosion. He ran his vocals through old Moogs, modulating and distorting his voice into a robotic caterwaul. Guitarist John Schmersal, who bassist Juan Monasterio initially pegged as too weird even for Brainiac, pushed their sound even further out with his fried electronics and circuit-bending. Taylor’s pop sensibility broke through on 1996’s Hissing Prigs in Static Couture, setting expectations high for the band’s next album. Brainiac’s follow-up, the Jim O’Rourke-produced Electro-Shock for President EP, was their last official release before Taylor’s death, leaving fans to puzzle over it for clues about what might have come next. The previously unreleased demos on The Predator Nominate EP come from the band’s sessions for their speculative major label debut, making it the last and best hope of charting their trajectory.

At nine songs in 15 minutes, Predator Nominate is piecemeal and incomplete but still full of compelling ideas, like a great artist’s sketchbook. Experienced on its own terms as an imperfect representation of the band, it demonstrates Brainiac’s process at the height of their powers. Taylor may have preferred to wash the raw, clean vocals on “Smothered Inside” in a wave of distortion, just as he did after recording the demo for Bonsai Superstar’s “Collide.” But even without Brainiac’s usual brain-addling noise, this version stands on its own as an exhibit of Taylor’s remarkable feel for melody. As rare Brainiac instrumentals, “Predator Nominate” and “Pyramid Theme” showcase how adeptly they incorporated outré electronics into their thrillingly propulsive sound by this point.

Despite the lo-fi quality, several songs have all the hallmarks of fully realized Brainiac tunes. The earworm melody of “Kiss of the Dog” is saved from being overly saccharine by Taylor’s unmistakable sasscore vocals. “The Game,” with its nightmarish synths and threatening voiceover intoning “You don’t play the game I play/You know nothing,” serves as a disorienting interlude akin to Electro-Shock’s “Fashion 500.” The dreamy “Come With Me” is the farthest cry from classic Brainiac as Taylor’s repeated call to “Come now, with me” drifts over ethereal hums into silence. Though we’ll never know his creative destination, Predator Nominate is a welcome invitation leading us in the right direction.

Share on Google Plus

About Wanni Arachchige Udara Madusanka Perera

Hey, I'm Perera! I will try to give you technology reviews(mobile,gadgets,smart watch & other technology things), Automobiles, News and entertainment for built up your knowledge.
Brainiac - The Predator Nominate EP Music Album Reviews Brainiac - The Predator Nominate EP Music Album Reviews Reviewed by Wanni Arachchige Udara Madusanka Perera on January 27, 2023 Rating: 5


Post a Comment