Little Brian
Thrash Funk

I had high hopes from the name of this self-released record. I was hoping for some nice thrashing sounds with some jazzy, funky runs. I thought it could be really interesting. It’s just the opposite. I’m hearing a whole lot of jazz and funk and not much thrash.

Apparently the companion piece to to a novel called “Little Brian” written by Tarah Damask, I have to admit that the music is pretty enjoyable if you’re in a jazzy mood. The 11-piece group which includes a full horn section can admittedly lay down some pretty hot funk lines, but the metal bits are few and far between.

The first touch of metal you get on the record is the second track “T-1000,” which opens with a Metallica-like cadence of electric guitar notes, though not nearly as crunchy as Metallica, backed with a bit that sounds like “Flight of the Bumblebee.” That refrain returns a few times through the song, but it’s much more Tower of Power than Ride the Lightning. There’s a nice riff that opens the song “Bitch Gets Punked” that reminds me a little of Soundgarden. Again, though, not really heavy enough to satisfy my metal cravings. The same can be said of “Slaughtered Seals,” which opens with a heavy riff, but not enough grind.

There is one shining moment on the record for metal fans, and that is the title track. It has the only real thrash leanings on the record. Certainly the most metallic track on the record, it also has a really nice groove. The horns are downplayed in favor of traditional metal instrumentation, and while I’d still like to hear just a little more crunch, I could dig a record in this style.

The problem that I have reviewing a record like this is that, while I can appreciate jazz and funk occasionally, I’m far from an aficianado of the genres. I don’t have the depth of knowledge that I do in metal, so, if I’m being completely honest, I don’t know how good that side of the music is. I know that I find songs like “Rat Damage” enjoyable when I’m in the right frame of mind, but how it compares to other artists in those genres, I don’t know.

Ultimately, I think if you’re into big horn sections and funky grooves, Little Brian is probably worth checking out. Metal fans, though, will likely leave Thrash Funk still looking for the thrash part.

[Visit the band's website]
Written by Fred Phillips
February 23rd, 2008

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