Hailing from St. Louis’ thriving DIY scene, The Brainstems released their garage rock debut, No Place Else, on November 27th. Given the ubiquity of garage rock today, the question that immediately jumps to mind is, “What makes these guys different?” The band’s own cited influences—artists like Ty Segall and Coachwhips—do not betray anything out of the ordinary for a garage rock band.
What is out of the ordinary—and what separates The Brainstems from others in the DIY pack—is the detail that goes into the music. Each track feels thoughtfully put together. The rawness in garage rock often extends from the music’s sound to the composition, songs come across as if they were written hastily. No Place Else‘s songs feel nothing like that. The writing—both music and lyrics—is considered.
No Place Else is composed thoughtfully, but none of that thoughtfulness comes at the expense of the rock. The Brainstems come tearing out of the gate on opening track “Stallioning” and don’t let up for the rest of the album. The combination of considered writing with the energy of rock ‘n’ roll makes for an assured debut from the band, and it will be fascinating to see what is next for them.