Whatever Brains

In the half-hour it takes to hear Whatever Brains' Soft Dick City—a spray-painted, cassette-only release bookended by a screeching Urinals cover and a Johnny Cash sound-collage sabotage—there's little question what this Raleigh quartet is about: This is a band that can't sit still. From The Urinals homage and the Johnny Cash sacrilege to the hooky-and-hissy space between, raw enthusiasm comes tied together with jagged and noisy interludes.

Within that jittery impatience and irreverent ruckus, witness a consistency of style that's not just uncommon but mostly unknown for such a new band. And Whatever Brains has done it twice now. Just as Soft Dick City feels spontaneous in its noise and spittle-lipped in its urgency, the subsequent Mt. Whatever 7" feels self-assured and somehow meticlous in its relative professionalism.

The three tracks that comprise Mt. Whatever—two of which, the title track and "Summer Jammin," are reprised from Soft Dick City—come out cleaner, which is to say less shrouded in feedback, but no less excitable. On the 7" version of "Mount Whatever," cooed vocal harmonies turn to roars behind Rich Ivey's snotty snarl (Ivey is a contributor to the Independent Weekly). Jagged guitars spike harder, but with less static. It sounds no less primal than on the tape, where a droning rumble cloaks the song, making it rough and rowdy. The no-fi charm and noise-fueled unification of Soft Dick City is exhilarating, but the same holds—just in different ways—for Mt. Whatever's half-polished fits. The tape trades undulating feedback and squelching electronics for the single's basic guitars-bass-drums setup. Neither suffers the exchange.

Taken together, these two releases—both issued on formats you may consider obsolete—are defiantly good but defiantly inaccessible for mass markets. Just 500 copies of a 7" and a handful of cassette tapes remain as the lone artifacts of the band's existence to date. This is the sort of sticky stuff that could be huge, though (we've called these Brains "Raleigh's best new band," and we'll echo that here). Collectors and early listeners are rewarded, then, with two very different but complementary releases, each of which keeps its best track—Soft Dick City's "Swhatever" and Mt. Whatever's b-side, "Crass Ringtones"—proprietary and isolated. This is the stuff from which anthems, legends and eBay auctions come.

What functions as a two-part debut shows Whatever Brains to be a band born fully formed, a more prickly and brash cousin to Ivey's defunct Crossed Eyes, but with a similar foundation on pop-structured punk. Indeed, it's Whatever Brains' greatest virtue that, behind the din of scorched amps, shattered chords and snot-rocket singing, there's a gooey bubblegum center charged with immediacy and drunken abandon.

Bo White Y Su Orquesta

shredded decency and mixed arts.
Bass/Vocals- BW, Drums- M. Houseman, Percussion- D. Blackburn, Baritone- B. Bagwell, Tenor- A. Thewlis.

Wymyns Prysyn

Double Negative

December 2003, Krage Twigg and Jenny Tripp decided to form a band, nothing came of this untill around February 2004 when Tripp and Twigg began to jam around nirvana songs with various drumers from around town. After a while Tripp and Twigg decided to enlist friend Kev Pierce as rhythm guitarist and Callum Coxx as full time drummer and took a new direction: Metal. The band wrote 4 songs and decided on to covers to play and debuted at the Brindley Arts Center in Runcorn and ent on to play Widnes's summer festival in Victoria in the Summer of 2004. Double Negative then decided to rest a little after the departure of drummer Coxx...

No Tomorrow

Unholy Thoughts

punk hardcore metal punk weed

Devil's Hand

classical hardcore metal punk

Joint D≠

Originally known as Joint Damage but forced to change their name because of the threat of legal action, Joint D≠ is a new project from Nick Goode, who you know from his guitar work in NC's Logic Problem and Brain F≠. While Nick's trademark vocal stylings and wall-of-treble guitar sound are familiar, Joint D≠ have a different sound than his other bands thanks to the muscular rhythm section, which is equally comfortable with a Wipers-style propulsive lurch as they are with Gauze-esque stop-on-a-dime changes. Guest vocals from Elise and Bobby from Brain F≠ make this essential for fans of that band, while the music itself makes it essential for anyone who can appreciate ambitious, atmospheric, and dynamic hardcore.

CHALKIES are garage punk rock n roll.
It's good for you.

Rogue Nations


Cheap Art

Stepdad SS

members of No Power, Towering Pyre, The Rogue Nations

Olde Tigers


Death Panels



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