Crazy & the Brains - Snacks [cassette] (Cover Artwork)
Staff Review

Crazy & the Brains

Snacks [cassette] (2011)

Baldy Longhair

Balancing themselves between genuine affection and self-awareness, Crazy & the Brains play garage rock that mixes the classic lo-fi snappers found on the Nuggets series with the new breed of guitar-based weirdos. Snacks, a cassette-only release, finds the band whipping through six light tunes that are propelled with genuine rock rhythm.

Taking notes from Nobunny and Black Lips, the band blends their energetic stomp with garage-style quirks, such as sudden "yippee!"s that jump out of nowhere and choruses that sound as if they were recorded on Sesame Street. To add to their weirdness, the band has a glockenspiel on almost every track, which despite the instrument's fairly limited sound, decorates the tunes rather than getting in the way.

But just because the band balances between Chuck Berry rock rampages and cutesey wutesey head-boppers, they nonchalantly wander into some off-color material creating an interesting contrast. On "Lindsay Lohan", the band states that they'd like to get a dirty sanchez from the song's subject. On "Saturday Night Live", the band considers showing up to the program stark naked.

While the landfills are currently overflowing with neo-garage rock albums, Crazy & the Brains are just snappy enough, just quirky enough, and just rock-y enough to make it work in the current glut. With a little more space on an LP, the group could really cut something interesting if they maintain their current affections and spread them out to display in full.