Brain Banger - Munsoned (Cover Artwork)
Staff Review

Brain Banger

Munsoned (2010)

Hawthorne Street

With Krazy Fest making its triumphant return this weekend, it seems somewhat appropriate to review the 2010 EP from Brain Banger. Who? Why, a trio direct from that mecca of blown-out amp punk/hardcore: Louisville, KY. And they feature members of Young Widows, Lords, Breather Resist and Black Cross to top it.

The five-song effort Munsoned is a predictably feedback-laced, smoky smorgasbord of murky, hard stoner riffs, a pinch of grunge/noise rock overtones, and grunting, sneered vocal yowls, but with a palpable and forward-moving energy. "A No Brainer" opens with piercing guitars, and then the song goes into a nebulous pound akin to Melvins, only with more compact percussive fits. "Stay Down" picks up the tempo plenty, adds more wailing, noisy guitars and takes on a billowing intensity that gets the vibe on Munsoned increasingly interesting and harrowing.

"Procession" lets the band relax a bit more, with vocals that are actually melodically sung in some way, at least for them. Momentarily, it feels like them trying their hand at a Black Sabbath-type, melodic dirge, but in their hands and with their indie-punk sensibilities makes it more dynamic and free-swinging. Immediately thereafter, "Pay Attention" transitions back to the more urgent version of Brain Banger. The silvery sneer of the guitar tones in closer "Save" make it a winner, too.

Munsoned is an active onyx of sound that's pretty familiar and somewhat expected given its creators' backgrounds, but that doesn't make it any less enjoyable and impressive.