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.