Beijing’s very own Brain Failure in their latest album “American Dream” contains 16 songs that are very much faithful to the oi! punk style of music, minus some of the angst, and coupled with lyrics that barely make sense.
One of the more popular foreign underground bands, Brain Failure, has been spotted touring in North America a few times like other foreign underground bands, such as the all-girl Chinese punk band Hang in the Box, as well as Japan’s Melt Banana.
In this album, Brain Failure serves up a good mixture of oi! punk sounds, melodic pop, ska punk, as well as a couple of Chinese lyric punk songs that give an insight into the styles of non-North American punk music, which, pretty much sounds the same, except the commercialism.
Tunes such as “Going to the USA” and “Fun and Fight Tonight” are quite melodic.
The tunes offer pop punk sounds for those accustomed to commercialized punk melodies. (an oxymoronic phrase, don’t you think? “Commercialized punk.”)
Ska punk is also sighted in the album on the tracks “Holy Bullshit,” “Stay Free,” and “Such A Dangerous.”
The band then gives its North American fans a taste of Chinese punk in their Chinese based tracks “Human” and “Played.” And of course, no one should miss out on songs like the album’s closing track “Come Together,” which puts together a good blend of both Chinese and English lyrics, a trademark of many foreign bands who are trying to break into the North American market.
In all, Brain Failure’s album has solid punk tunes that might gain the approval of pop punk fans, as well as oi! punk (unless one is a punk elitist.). The album is a good attempt, although the lack of coherent lyrics might be a drawback for certain listeners.
If one can get over incoherent lyrics, it is possible to appreciate or to like the album based on the music alone, because the band does a good job of producing solid pop punk meets oi! punk sounds that capture the essence and the attraction of pop punk before the age of commercialism.