The Brainstems record and eat tacos in St. Louis, Missouri. They bonded a few years ago at a local radio station, which led them to form a cover band indebted to garage rippers by Ty Segall and The Coachwhips. After a pact to pursue the rock life for real, the guys inevitably began to feel the tug of the twinkling coasts, the anchor of the dollar. The title No Place Else is a nod to the decisions and developments that kept the band banded (thankfully). Counted among their peers are St. Louis’ golden berzerkers Lumpy & The Dumpers. In fact, both groups share a band member in Gabe “The Babe” Karabell.
“A headfirst dive into fuzzy, physical rock ‘n’ roll” – Stereogum
“A fantastic album” – Nerdist
“Great lo-fi garage tinged rock” – KZSU 90.1 FM (Standford Univ.)
Album art: Mushroom Necklace
Poster art: Shelby Hohl; Martin Meyer of Lumpy and the Dumpers
Mastered by: Mikey Young (Total Control)
Children, the time has come to put away magick crystals and those pouty selfie undercuts. The time has come to get back to the basics. Bad Diet Records is bullish about our latest band, The Brainstems. How bullish are we?
When we say that No Place Else soars wingtip-to-wingtip alongside the top albums of 2015, we mean it. We mean it like a pocketknife across a palm. We mean it like the ghost of John Peel when he lifted up the severed head of Skrillex before us and cursed a rock-depleted world that overrunneth with pizza-sticker punkers and tongue-wagging pop tarts.
Tracks like “Keep It Together” (think a peppier Meat Puppets) and “Time to Ride” (an angsty pile-up in Black Lips mode) will lure jaded souls off Sleepy Street. But it’s the effortless way No Place Else wills the listener out of the House of WiFi before rushing them around the block that makes the album connect. Hit play and it’s as if you were present for the innumerable downbeat walks and observant lulls that led to the music’s creation.
This is rock borne of days that are uneventfully eventful; days when a caved-in sidewalk covered in bars of shadow and light seems to mimic the chords of your discontent. Was that last bit too sentimental? Whoops. Eat your heart out, Richard Linklater!
“Unbridled, fuck-it-up garage rock” – Tiny Mix Tapes
“Calculated chaos that effortlessly toggles between punk minimalism and shout-along party rock” – Under the Radar
“Best Music of November 2015” – Impose