Evil Brain Taste – Number Two


Evil Brain Taste will not win any plaudits in high art circles, but the English duo could not give a shit what people think. As self-proclaimed purveyors of ‘puerile toilet humour and B-movie worship’, the band offer their observations on contemporary society through the prism of sinister humour and gruesome metaphors. Returning with their follow up to 2015’s Dead Dead Bad, the boys from Berkshire are as crass as ever and just as obsessed with thrash metal and goregrind. Indeed, it’s easy to forget that Evil Brain Taste are a band with impressive technical abilities.

Not many artists start an album with a tribute to their own art, nor do they open with a parody of an advertising jingle. You’ll wonder what you’ve stumbled across when you hear the sharp syncopated guitar rhythms lock in with the programmed drums over the chants of “Evil Brain Taste! Evil Brain Taste!” Is this a long-lost demo that Al Jourgensen (Ministry) swapped for a bag of heroin in the early 2000s? Its successor is much more gratifying, not to mention unusual, in its use of the drop D guitar tuning to achieve its heavy impact. ‘Life is Scary’ sees the duo rehearse their wildest goregrind fantasies with goblin vocal lines and a surprise emphasis on rhythmic precision and clarity.

You can hear the sordid tongue of Macabre in ‘Cordell’ and ‘Clandestine Corpse Concealment’, with the latter getting close to the latest Immortal album in its intensity. Swap the vocals for a higher shriek of agony, and you have something that’s not too far away from visceral black metal. That’s what will impress you most about this record – the entire spectrum of extreme metal receives veneration at some point during the listening experience.

A read through the lyrics to ‘Cannibalise Me’ will bring a snigger to even the most serious of scholars. “I’m the perverted, I live on the fringe/ Hiding for hours, on porno I binge/ Done it for years now, I’m a fetishist/ Tried everything but there’s one thing I missed,” growls vocalist, Bone. The ‘Raining Blood’ breakdown and spooky Carl Orff choir phrasings at the climax will raise an eyebrow for the right reasons. Of course, there’s a bad taste to this music – the album’s called Number Two for God’s sake! Listen how the upbeat thrash of ‘Arithmophobia’ mixes the adrenaline of Ministry with the picking hand of Hetfield amid a juddering soundscape of zapping electronic noises.

The second half of the record moves further towards thrash metal and leaves the blackened elements behind. A flamboyance pervades through the tracks like a magician at a prison show for inmates. ‘Creature Feature’ uses diabolical vocal inflections and spooky Dr Who? effects to deliver its comedic brutality. ‘Dead Man’s Shoes’ retells the story of the Shane Meadows film over a Slayer/Sepultura rhythm and utilises a fast guttural rap technique. Guitar fills fly around the room like wasps. Sporadic B-movie effects fill the gaps in the spaces where you can thrust your head out of the drowning pool. Stanzas make you laugh among the carnage. “Crusty, old school, dated, grandad/ Feeling contempt for youth/ Sounding like an old man/ Losing patience,” blazes Bone on ‘Dark Side of 40’.

It will remind you more of the glorious Ministry era than Metallica, and the playful bloodlust has more in common with Macabre than Mr Bungle, but Number Two exists on its own terms and in its own domain. You won’t play it on repeat until the end of the week, but you’ll come back to it later in the year for entertainment.

JVB


Verdict


Release Date: 22/05/2022

Record Label: Self Released

Standout tracks: Life is Scary, Arithmophobia, Dead Man’s Shoes

Suggested Further Listening: Macabre – Dahmer (2000), Ministry – Psalm 69: The Way to Succeed and the Way to Suck Eggs (1992), Gorerotted – Mutilated in Minutes (2000)