Whatever Brains occupy a subgenre I’m christening bizarro-core, assuming it doesn’t already exist. Raised in Raleigh, North Carolina, the band plays music that at its heart is sneering basement punk—filthy, sweaty, and up yours—but front man Rich Ivey tips his hat to the Crucifucks’ Doc Dart (aka 26) and the band dabbles in tie-dyed circus motifs, both of which add more than a little bit of dementia.
Today’s 12 O’Clock Track, “Withnail,” is from the band’s self-titled debut full-length, released last year on Sorry State Records. The song would be heavy if it weren’t so creepy and playful, with a disturbing but hooky chant and synthesizers that could soundtrack a freaked-out stroll through some gnarly catacombs.
(And who knows, maybe I’m calling out this track because these dudes are playing at a Chicago DIY venue in a week or so. You’ll just have to work that out for yourself.)