Brain Tourniquet


Brain Tourniquet …An Expression in Pain LP

Crushing debut LP from DC’s BRAIN TOURNIQUET. Although this record is most easily categorized as powerviolence, there is so much innovation here that it tramples micro-genre labels. These are epics in bursts, blasts of fury with the intricate structure of much longer songs. Take “Mental Tomb” for example: there is the fast and extreme hardcore, which rolls into a bridge of dissonant guitar noise and rolling drums, then back to the hardcore. The song is 1:17 long. Many of the tracks have this level of careful intricacy that make repeated listens a treat. There is definite influence from classic West Coast bands like MAN IS THE BASTARD and CROSSED OUT, but I also hear CRYPTIC SLAUGHTER-style crossover (especially the amazing drums) in songs like “Deny.” “Little Children Working” and “Behind My Eyes” are feedback-laden, dangerously creepy instrumentals that keep the record’s urgent and unsettling tone intact, while “…An Expression in Pain” has a slow-crawl intro that erupts into relentless fast PV and back to the doomy slow crunch. This goes back and forth over ten minutes, and it rules. This record is fresh and exciting, bold and risky without being pretentious. It’s early in the year, but I’m bookmarking this one for my year-end top ten.

Brain Tourniquet Torture EP

The second EP from the Washington, DC band BRAIN TOURNIQUET is a bouquet of pain and fury. The band, formed by members of PURE DISGUST and TRUTH CULT, knows how to give their own twist to a genre (powerviolence/fastcore or whatever you want to call it) that we know has a limited creative spectrum. And they do it with songs whose foundation is anger, and from that base they build small monuments to bad vibes with a brutal musicianship and very imaginative arrangements. A very pleasant surprise.

Brain Tourniquet Shot Dead EP

Both “Fate” and “It Takes Three…” nail INFEST’s sludgy, almost prog rock style to a T. The riff on “Shot Dead” and bits of “Paranoia” remind me of NO TOLERANCE, the little breaks in “Not Alive” are very INFEST-like, and the breakdown in “Animal Instinct” has a looseness that isn’t unflattering but seems uncommon for this genre. “No Solution” comes across as if the lyrics don’t fully fit, like the song could’ve used more work and was maybe rushed. I thought I’d be bored with it but the first four tracks on Side A had me coming back for repeated listens. It’s fucking powerviolence, OK?