Brain Bent Boilerplate 7″

Rhodehouse record brings us the vinyl debut from this Calgary quartet. These folks primarily play a mix of scratchy (nearly twee) clean-guitar punk and drum-forward, bombastic synth rock (think of the less surfy moments from Touch and Go-era MAN OR ASTRO-MAN?). They also manage to slip in some straight-up ’70s hard rock digressions from time to time, which may sound like an odd choice, but it kinda works. Musically, I think this record is cool. Lyrically, I have some notes. The two tracks on this 7” take aim at the corporate office world—a subject certainly worthy of derision—but the observations they’re making don’t feel very fresh. Like, a lot of what they’re complaining about isn’t that far off from the kinds of things covered in Office Space nearly a quarter of a century ago. I mean, a lot of that commentary still applies, but the corporate world has grown much more ghoulish in many respects, opening up new hells of worker alienation that I wish they were able to tap into instead. I think if these lyrics were harder to decipher, I wouldn’t have minded it so much. But they seem to be going for a bit of a URANIUM CLUB clever-rock vibe, so they’re right there front and center. I think URANIUM CLUB manages to skirt being annoying by keeping things abstract, but since BRAIN BENT is clearly trying to say something, they don’t have that luxury.