Review: BRAT ‘Social Grace’

As we all know, putting bands into pigeon holes can sometimes be a problem as they get labelled all too quickly, but for BRAT, they have their own self-described barbie grind/bimbo violence aesthetic going on, an intentional dichotomy to their sound with a keen focus to allow space and inclusivity for outsiders that shirk the traditional in favour of jubilant authenticity.

BRAT 'Social Grace' Artwork
BRAT ‘Social Grace’ Artwork

When I first heard of this description, I was very sceptical about it, but this is about the new generation of bands and artists doing their own thing and having a new take on the grindcore scene, you could call it Gen Z Grind if you wanted to!! But let’s take nothing away from BRAT as this is a very impressive debut album from the Crescent City four piece.

Social Grace has been recorded in batches over an eighteen month period, and when that opening noise of Ego Death kicks off, you will feel like taking a sledgehammer and smashing things up, as it’s a short sharp shock to the system, and there really is no let up from this moment on. Hesitation Wound comes through like a whirlwind, destroying all before it, with the band’s reverence for psychological horror fiction and admiration for Stephen King is evident on this song and the stunning Truncheon.

a coalescence of death, thrash and power violence brutality…

The songs are like short lived adrenaline shots in the arm, but ones that you want to keep receiving, resulting in a coalescence of death, thrash and power violence brutality. Human Offense is a song that will excite most people, with the screeching guitars from Brenner Moate setting a frantic pace, but the bassline from Ian Hennessey is a perfect accompaniment. Rope Drag just continues the upward trajectory and this is easily my favourite track as they seem to pack so much into so little time.

The whole album sounds feral yet with a ferocity that will surprise people who haven’t heard them before as it’s done with me! Every time I’ve listened to the album, I can’t stop smiling, it’s brutal and heavy from start to finish, with the pounding drumming from Dustin Eagan setting up each song for the rest to express themselves.

They end with Sugar Bastard and the outstanding title track Social Grace with its scathing rebuttal of aristocracy, which gives another opportunity to listen in awe to the powerful vocals of Liz Selfish, who is like a seething mass across the whole 10 songs. New Orleans has some new heroes in town, and they have started a party where all hell has broken loose and everyone is invited.

Label: Prosthetic Records
Band Links: Facebook | Bandcamp | Spotify | Twitter | Instagram

Scribed by: Matthew Williams