A 2xLP exercise in noodle extremity. This is the band you put on to show your friends how cool you are and how inapproachable your music tastes are. WV051S is none other than mathgrind mega-legends Brazen Bull!
There’s not much of a picture to paint to be honest. I remember doing TD back in the early 2000s, and 5 Track/Song Advance coming across my desk so to speak. If you know anything about deathcore at the time, anything from Australia was THE ticket – so to see somethingin the vein of some of my favorite American techgrind classics with a bit of that Aussie edge just FLOORED me. It’s truly a tour de force in noodle punishment. Like, you know how in evolution everything just eventually evolved in to a crab? It’s truly convergent evolution of the Lombardi vocal.
Brazen Bull’s debut work, on its own, is enough to warrant a vinyl release. It’s all the tropes of early 2000s mathgrind without being corny. Its pure extremity executed flawlessly. It’s self-aware, but takes itself seriously enough. It’s just tongue-in-cheek enough to still be able to be respected. It’s a classic CD collector rare CD, long out of print. 5 track advance (or 6 track advance for those in the know) is just *peak* “push the limits of songwriting” type stuff. It’s golden age of mathcore, but since its from a different continent, I find it flies mostly under the radar. But make no mistake, Brazen Bull were in the mix in 2007-2008.
But we’re not stopping there. The truly insane and interesting part about brazen bull is that they just….kept going? They didn’t do a top 25 EP and then disband? They’ve been making music and killer albums…….this whole time?? Absolutely unheard of for the genre. And I get it, you’re probably asking yourself “Nik if they’re so definitive and prolific, why haven’t I been jamming them for the past decade?” The answer is simple: they didn’t mellow out. They got some better production, sure, but every new EP and album is *Just* as unlistenable as Advance. Truly incredible. No mellowing out to gain more popularity. No shoehorned cleans to get crossover appeal. Just true, regimented, mathcore. It’s not for posers!
What better way to pay homage to the institution that is Brazen Bull than with a big discog release! Three albums, two LPs worth of grind.
Traveling Parasite takes the edge off of Advance, and introduces insane production, and even more off kilter/start-stop songwriting. Truly you never get an opportunity to groove. The vocals get a bit less Lombardi, and instead just turn in to incredible just semi-squawked highs. The Lombardi parts get the benefit of better production. The guitars get noodlier and the drums are just a fucking nailgun factory. The song titles are *long* which is obviously a testament to how scene they are. The lows are gutbusting. I don’t know what WV itch for you OG-10ers this doesn’t scratch. Traveling Parasite is the perfect follow-up to an insane debut EP. Just, purely unlistenable riffs its insane.
Not to be outdone, in 2016 after a five-year gap, Soiree was debuted. A triumphant return to form. It checks every box: a comeback with the same great logo? Check. Less math, more grind? Check. More mature, but not less abrasive? Check. THIS is the transition in to the “mainstream” that only a band like BB could pull off. You can tell they used the time to put a lot of thought on how they wanted this album to sound, and the result is actually insane. You’re not going to believe that this album came out in 2016, it sounds exactly like a lot of this 2020-era revival stuff. They pre-revivaled the revival. The madmen!
Soiree is another tragic case of being too good too soon. If this was released in 2023, you’d swear it was some sort of “name brand MathcoreTM” style band trying to get signed to some label and tour with some revival band. Like, its too spot on and I get why it didn’t resonate at the time. It’s almost a little cheesier than their other material, like, in the classic Napalm Death kind of cheesy way? Like, grindier cheesy? Regardless. It’s a pummeling listen, and actually makes more sense contextually in 2023 than it did in 2016 imo. You’re going to dig it!
As always, all this audio was handled by Zach at Third Eye Studios and he did an incredible job of bringing a lot of life out of the Advance and Traveling Parasite material. You’re going to dig it!
Now, as much as we all love music (I guess) truly I’m just excited to tell you about this art. I’ve been a fan of Nightjar art of Adam Burke for SO long, and if you’re tuned in, you’ll probably recognize his style. You can’t really go too far without seeing a band with a Burke cover, the dude just absolutely is a staple in the scene. Huge sprawling hand painted stuff, and you know I’m a sucker for that! Adam painted one HUGE panel for the gatefold, and then ANOTHER for the interior. So happy to add this to the body of big hand painted gatefolds!