The Brains - Zombie Nation (Cover Artwork)
Staff Review

The Brains

Zombie Nation (2010)


If there's one point worth mentioning about the Brains (and there are actually multiple), it's that they aren't Bad. Nope. Three white dudes from Canada playing psychobilly. But they're not bad either, and exhibit both a musical proficiency and adept songwriting skills on their fourth release, Zombie Nation.

The Quebecois act doesn't shy away from their culture at all, either, slipping the entirely French "Après Cette Nuit" ("After This Night") in the middle of their otherwise English tracklist. The language doesn't matter a ton--one can imagine it's probably the same campy horror imagery of the rest of the album--and it would even seem that the Brains aren't particularly concerned with getting a message across. In lieu of lyrics, the insert booklet instead folds out to a spread of three bodacious zombie babes, open lacerations and all.

What's particularly impressive about Zombie Nation is the musicianship that fuses guitar licks and chord progressions straight out of the golden age of rock ‘n' roll with rhythms whose pace at times rivals that of skatepunk styles, especially on songs like "As I Stand" and album closer "Enjoy the Silence." Granted, such fitness is frequent in psychobilly and arguably necessitated for success, but the Brains pull it off with ease.

Tracks like "Spaghetti Western" and "I Don't Care" demonstrate a diversity of tempos that combine with some of the best musicianship and melodies of the album to top the list of highlights on Zombie Nation. A number of psychobilly all-stars join the fun for guest vocals and musicianship on tracks throughout the disc, including members of Mad Sin, Rezurex and Blood Sucking Zombies from Outer Space.

It's probably a little bit easier to get in the mood for psychobilly with Halloween approaching, but Zombie Nation is a nice album for any season. With slick musicianship and catchy melodies, the Brains have added another solid album to their name.