Exploding Universe – The Brainiac 5 (Reckless Records) reviewed by Dave Franklin

11390565_888226164580608_6829514471951239911_nIf you can tell the character of a man by the company he keeps, then you can tell a lot about a band by the references they juggle. One quoting Beefheart, Gertrude Stein and G.I. Gurdjieff, lyrically spouting a wonderful low-level street philosophy and described as “the West Country’s answer to Television,” is an attractive prospect.

If the psychedelic-punk spirit that put them on the map is still in evidence, these days it has been tempered by a free ranging approach to genric identity which sees them embrace the diversities of gentle acoustica, Weller-esque undercurrents, peripheral jazz touches, proggy thought processes, rock, funk, reggae and everything in between. Not bad for their second album but with a quarter of a century  to think about things it is no surprise that they have nailed this being in a band lark.

Originally part of the Cornish punk scene they relocated to London, shared stages with the equally mercurial Soft Boys, were praised by NME, but split before their debut album could be released. Eventually it saw the light in 1988 with Reckless Records where it rubbed shoulders with releases by the legendary Bevis Frond, Black Sun Ensemble and Mu. Their recent regrouping certainly hints at a second chapter to the bands story and if this album is anything to go by, this is where things start getting really interesting.

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About Dave Franklin

Musician, scribbler, historian, gnostic, seeker of enlightenment, asker of the wrong questions, delver into the lost archives, fugitive from the law of averages, blogger, quantum spanner, left footed traveller, music journalist, zenarchist, freelance writer, reviewer and gemini. People have woken up to worse.
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