Last we heard from Whatever Brains, the quartet began to toy with its usually frenetic pacing with the long, teasing intro of "Nesting," from the 7" of the same name. This year's CD-R, Trim Jeans and/or Gross Urge Plus Ten, was a vibrant glimpse of what the Brains could pull off in an LP's duration. In retrospect, "Nesting" seems to have best anticipated Rapper's Delight II, the band's fourth and most divergent 7".
Riffs stretch like yawns, adding a sense of psychedelia while warping the garage punk template. The title track exaggerates all of Whatever Brains' most defining traits—guitar lines splintered like a split skateboard around Rich Ivey's sneering drawl—before unloading a conclusion as strong as a heavyweight's knockout punch. The flip, "What Makes A Man Make What Makes A Man Start Fires?," is an even looser jam, built on hypnotic, spiraling guitars that further explore the band's love of delayed gratification. Only middle cut "Village Sewer"—a Trim Jeans reprise—seems to follow the Brains' earlier, more overtly punk singles.
Still, Whatever Brains hasn't abandoned its remarkable, if bent, knack for divining hooks. Their continued exploration and mastery of their sound just makes next year's promised LP that much more tempting.