Social Grace

Brat may very well become the new “it” band. Oddly enough, I recently saw them with Escuela Grind (for the 7th or 8th time), Bonginator, and Take Offense. A gentleman slightly older than I called Escuela the new “it” band and it was hard to argue. After he saw them for the first time, he said they totally exceeded his expectations. Anyway, what I’m saying is that there can be two such bands, and I believe Brat is going to carve that place for themselves.

10 songs in 21 minutes, so the grind label applies, but only generally as there’s more going on here. On the first track, which is barely over one minute, they show their riffs, the harsh vocals, some gruff cleans, and some pit worthy breakdowns. It’s over fast, though.

If you’re looking for something longer, that sounds personal and I’d recommend checking Craigslist, but as far as tracks here, none qualify. “Human Offense” crosses the 2-minute mark with its punk rhythms and ever-present bass. The riffs are straight grind, though. Just past 2 minutes, it all comes to a chaotic close.

“Rope Drag” is the very next one and it smokes. With a death snarl/spit to start, frontwoman Liz Selfish dominates while also giving the instruments time to breathe. It’s heavy as, you know, something weighty. Elephant Seal?

As is tradition, the two last tracks are the longest. “Sugar Bastard” is second to last.  Powerviolence? Punk? Grind? If you ask the band, according to what I’ve seen, they call themselves “Bimbocore.” I just knew there was a breakdown coming a minute in, but it’s not really the case. No slight, it’s just not what I expected. The track is still groovy as hell.

Bringing up the end is the title track, “Social Grace,” if you couldn’t already infer. The breakdown is almost immediately. There’s another, though with about a minute left. It ends the track and therefore the album, fading out to officially close it.

Just like the album, this review might be short. However, with music in this genre, that’s the game. It works when the album is so good that you want to listen again immediately. With Social Grace, I want that. I was skeptical because I’ve seen them a couple times now, and some of the most entertaining spots are between songs when they use pop hits, mostly from my era when I was a young elitist and hated it, but now appreciate it for what it was. It doesn’t matter and they’re not missed. High marks indeed, and I’ll continue to proudly wear my pink Brat Mean Girls shirt. Well done and highly recommended!

[Visit the band's website]
Written by J Mays
March 27th, 2024


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