Sep 23 2013
Something Different: Brainkiller – “Colourless Green Superheroes”
The Something Different review series highlights albums that are unlike anything else, and which embrace the best qualities of creative vision.
On Colourless Green Superheroes, the new release by the Brainkiller trio, no one song is particularly emblematic of the whole, nor would it be easy to encapsulate the trio’s sound into a neat little soundbite. Like a gallery opening for an artist with an expansive point of view, though expressions from piece to piece, song to song, may only seem to have a tenuous connection, this trio of trombone, keyboards, and percussion finds a way to wrap up an entire exhibition with a nifty cohesive bow, and provide not many views, but a series of facets of the same view.
Your album personnel: Brian Allen (trombone and effects), Jacob Koller (piano, Fender Rhodes, keys), Hernan Hecht (drums, percussion) and guest: Coppé (vocalist, one track).
Opening track “Return of the Vindicator” begins abruptly as a rock n’ roll fireball, made more for head banging than head bopping, but then slips into a series of ambient sighs. “Scribble” is a celebratory parade of the oomp-pahs, but then follows with the nu-jazz R&B inflections of “Empty Words.” The strange transitions continue with “Top Of the World,” with its solemn piano tones and melodic outbursts. “Orange Grey Shades” keeps things on the quieter side, but adopts a more formalized method of melodic development.
“A Piedi Verso Il Sole” sticks to brief statements, meted out with a lumbering presence that keeps light on its feet. This is followed by the repeated jabs and right crosses of “Plates,” which, in turn, shits from a punchy cadence to the woozy beer hall disposition of “Noodlin,” a track that begins benign, grows to raucous levels, but never loses its boozy amicability… and sounds nothing like the blips and piano flurries of subsequent track “Laboratorio,” a tune with a pop song personality and a post-bop taste in clothes.
“Secret Mission” grinds it out, fast on its feet and full of noise, whereas the twirling effects and keyboard notes of “Otaku Goes To a Rave” give a little 1970’s glamor, a little 2000’s electro-cool. The percussive interlude of “Viv” is the personification of a melody tumbling down a flight of stairs, and leads into the casual gait of “To Be Continued,” which closes the album with the nonchalance of a parade with no destination, nowhere to go.
It really is quite impressive how cohesive this album is, considering how many different facets the trio attempts to reveal in the span of one album. That they attempt to expand their scope that wide, provide a sense of singularity, and also produce a tuneful, fun album is a hell of an achievement.
Released on the Rare Noise Records label.
Available at: eMusic MP3 | Amazon CD | Amazon MP3 | Amazon Vinyl | Also, the label, Rare Noise Records, has an online store from which you can buy a number of different file formats and physical medium.
September 24, 2013 @ 3:28 am
Interesting sounding group – the sample track felt like it was about to stray into prog territory at the start. Add some vibes and there could be a couple of Zappa moments. Your description of ‘Plates’ was particularly visual …
September 24, 2013 @ 8:34 am
That’s interesting that you mention Zappa, because there was a moment that I almost referenced him in the review, but for whatever reason, went in a different direction. But there is something to that, isn’t there?
I, also, was convinced, originally, that this album was going in a certain direction at the outset, and then it began its series of detours and cutbacks, pretty much negating each and every assumption I attempted to construct.
September 24, 2013 @ 8:39 am
Dave, my reference to the ‘Plates’ paragraph was unhelpfully oblique. You may want to change the typo – though it did make my morning!