Since they first stumbled out of a Quebecois crypt ten years ago, The Brains have always attempted to do their best to connect with their fans and further grow their fanbase. Of course, their first introduction was made as a psychobilly band – but it didn’t take long for the group to begin reaching for more inspiration from beyond the constraints of rockabilly. With each successive album, elements of punk rock, metal and even folk have been mixed in and/or focused upon in order to titillate an ever-larger fanbase with results ranging from fantastic to contentious but, at their heart (and always lurking somewhere on each album), it has always been a mix of psychobilly and horror movie imagery which has inspired The Brains and that they have returned to that heart on Out In The Dark is instantly engaging and exciting.
The moment that Out In The Dark‘s title track springs out furiously to open the record, long-time fans will find themselves exhaling a satisfied sigh. The song is high-strung, tightly wound and runs out with something to prove; no matter how far The Brains may have ventured from where they started, “Out In The Dark” proves that the band knew its way back. There, bassist Colin Irvine batters and chokes his instrument gleefullyyyy while Phil Pinard swirls up a strikingly lighthanded assault on his drum kit, and the results illustrate definitively that the band is perfectly capable of coming back to center – but the real thrills get generated by singer/guitarist Rene De La Muerte. On “Out In The Dark,” De La Muerte really proves how much he’s grown over the last ten years through his vocal performance; he lilts and swaggers through lines like “It’s never what you see/ That grips and terrifies me/ What lies in wait/ The horror yet to come” like a lounge singer banished to the fourth ring of Hell but still larger than life and OWNING the song overall. The overall result is a perfect return, and any fan who hears it will know it immediately.
The start presented by “Out In The Dark” is strong, but the record gets even more rewarding as it continues because the energy level does not dip. In fact, songs like “The Witch,” “Need You Now,” “Wofman” and “Lifetime” actually push harder, hotter and faster to become a set of the best songs The Brains have ever released. In each of those aforementioned songs, The Brains set all-new levels of power and ferocity as the rip through and leave nothing be singed synapses in their wake – it’s absolutely breathtaking and, when “Killer” finally blows the doors off the album to close it, listeners won’t be able to find any reason to feel shorted. Out In The Dark is a hard ride, and far and away The Brains’ best to date.
Out In The Dark will be released on November 6, 2015 via Stomp Records/Warner.