Brainstorm has taken experimental pop to a new level with 2012’s Heat Waves. After the success of their 2010 release, Beast In The Sky, the group has come together yet again to create intriguing tunes with tuba, guitar, keys, and harmonious vocals. Adam Baz is on drums, keyboard, and vocal duties, while Patrick Phillips plays the guitar, tuba, and gets in on the vocals as well. The recent addition of singer/bassist Tamara Barnes has made their sound come to life.
The trio has vocal dynamics most bands dream of, with each singer lending their vocals on this record. Without overshadowing one another, these two men and one woman brave the world of experimental indie pop music with a lot of potential. The opener, “Flat Earth” is a fun and upbeat guitar and tambourine medley that leaves the listener in a chipper mood. The tuba, instead of being a nuisance in this world of pop and indie rock, is a welcomed change.
Every song has a strong presence, but some standout tracks include “Death Bells,” “Upward” and “The Crown Caves In.” All three jams are catchy, melodic, and thrilling. The excitement builds as the record continues. Following the great footsteps of “The Crown Caves In,” the remainder of the record doesn’t disappoint.
The closer is mostly instrumental, only bursting to life about two minutes in. The vocals are minimal, and the focus is mostly on the beat of the drums. Steadily increasing with the guitar, the song goes from calm foot tapping to vigorous head bobbing in minutes. As the drums build tension towards the end of the song, it suddenly drops to an end with a strong strum of guitar. Making a record that many people can enjoy is a difficult task, but Brainstorm did it well. Every song is full of life, bringing a new perspective to experimental pop music.
In A Word: Joyous