Whatever Brains' Saddle Up | Record Review | Indy Week

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Whatever Brains' Saddle Up

(Bull City Records)



On their second single for Bull City Records, Whatever Brains reprise the formula of their Mount Whatever platter, recasting songs from their startlingly catchy Soft Dick City cassette beside a new tune or two. Here, the fresh jam is the B-side, "Saddle Up," which unreels wiry guitar lines before pulling back for the chord-bashing, steady rolling lunge that Rich Ivey is so good at hollering, slurring and staggering through. It sounds more reminiscent of the cassette's tape-hiss punk-pop than the revived A-side cuts. "What Happened To All The Destructionaires?" and "Eli Porter, Class of 2005" (previously billed as "Eli c/o 2k5") now wear new suits and portend a big future. A thick synth pulse beneath "Destructionaires" adds a new vitality in the form of a chest-pounding brashness. "You tried and you failed and look what it's gotten you now," Ivey moans. Then comes the cavalcade. "Eli Porter," likewise boasts a broader, bolder palette, sounding something like The Arcade Fire ravaged by punk and sloshed with cheap beer. That is, the too-measured bombast stretches until it rips like a ratty T-shirt.

Whatever Brains play Friday, Nov. 6, at Troika Music Festival, and Friday, Nov. 13, at Local 506 with Times New Viking.

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