The Brains

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About The Brains

Canadian psychobilly combo the Brains graft the sounds of rockabilly and first-generation rock with hard rock and goth influences, all set to ghoulish lyrics inspired by classic horror movies and the writings of H.P. Lovecraft. Playing at breakneck tempos with upright bass and buzzy guitars high in the mix, the group showed off a noticeable punk undercurrent and a dark sense of humor on 2007's Hell n' Back, while their attack grew harder and more aggressive on 2010's Zombie Nation, and 2020's Satana Tarantula brought a bit more polish and precision to their performances. Not to be confused with the Atlanta-based new wave band of the same name, the Brains formed in Montreal in 2001, fittingly playing their first show on Halloween. The original lineup featured lead singer and guitarist Rene De La Muerte (aka Rene Garcia), bassist Johnny Montreal, and drummer Frank O'Brains (aka François Demers). The Brains made a name for themselves on the Canadian club circuit with a show that included creepy costumes, elaborate makeup, and glow-in-the-dark contact lenses, though the band switched to a more conventional look when the contact lenses began giving Rene eye troubles. They made their recording debut on a 2003 psychobilly compilation called Zombie Night in Canada, contributing the track "It's Over." Two years later, the Brains brought out their debut album, No Brain, No Pain, on the German Crazy Love Records label. Their second full-length release, Hell n' Back, came out in 2007 and found the group sounding tighter and more confident. After releasing a self-titled LP in 2009, their first for Stomp Records, the Brains issued the tougher, hard rock-influenced Zombie Nation in 2010. By this time, Johnny Montreal had left the group, and Colin the Dead (aka Colin Irvine) took over on bass. In 2010, they also brought aboard new drummer Pat Kadaver, while Frank O'Brains moved to second guitar. Frank's tenure on guitar was a short one, and the Brains were a trio of Rene, Colin, and Pat for 2011's Drunk Not Dead. The Monster Within arrived in 2013, and their next release, 2014's The Cover Up, was a four-song EP in which they put their own stamp on tunes made famous by the Cure, Billy Idol, Depeche Mode, and Soft Cell. 2015's Out in the Dark introduced a new drummer to the Brains' lineup, Philippe "The Beast" Pinard, as the group's touring schedule became busier than ever, frequently taking them to Europe, the United Kingdom, and even Russia as well as North America. It wasn't until 2020 that the Brains issued their next studio LP, Satana Tarantula. The album was their first release for Cleopatra Records and included guest appearances from Patricia Day of HorrorPops and Danny B. Harvey of the Swing Cats. ~ Mark Deming

Montreal, Quebe, Canada

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