Neighborhood Brats - Claw Marks (Cover Artwork)
Staff Pick

Neighborhood Brats

Claw Marks (2018)

Dirt Cult Records

For quite a while Neighborhood Brats has been a band I have been really hoping get the notoriety that they truly deserve. With a bunch of very solid EP’s under their belts, the band really came out swinging with their first full-length Recovery in 2014. 2018 really marked a growth period for Neighborhood Brats. In March of that year they released the Night Shift 7-inch, which showed that the band grew their sound and had a lot more confidence in it as well. You can really hear it in the aggression from all of the band members in all three tunes. Was the Night Shift EP just a “flash in the pan” for band? Hell no. By November 2018 Neighborhood Brats truly showed that they were just getting warmed up for the release of their masterful second album, Claw Marks.

The songs “Dear Angelo” and “Late Stage Capitalism” really encompass where the Brats improved upon their sound. “Dear Angelo” starts the album out with blasting, buzzy guitars and heavy, imposing bass line. “Late Stage Capitalism” is one example of where the band gets political on the lyrical side: “Massive profits rob us blind/Buy-in or get left behind/Losing our humanity/Discount bargain bin casualty.” It is also where lead singer, Jenny Angelillo shows just how dynamic of a vocalist she is. Here she commands the lead with her powerful melodic singing. There even points where she emphasizes some lyrics almost as if she is taunting the listener. But it’s on other songs like “Nina’s Ghost” where her vocals are much more fierce and biting.

“Misery Parade” truly stands out amongst the other tracks because of how frantic it is. The high-pitched octave chord progressions from the guitar to the swift beat being supported by the drums, and even Angelillo’s vicious singing all come together to make it quite the jam.

While Claw Marks is a really great record, it is worth mentioning that Neighborhood Brats absolutely crushed it with their follow-up album, Confines Of Life, three years later. But Claw Marks has a special place in the band’s discography. It is really where the confidence in their sound got a mega boost, and you can hear it on every track. It’s a relentless album that rocks from start to finish.

You can listen to this album here.