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CD REVIEW: Brain F≠'s Sleep Rough

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The debut LP from Charlotte quartet Brain F≠ is 10 tracks of fast-paced, punk-infused rock that rifles past the listener in less than 25 minutes. The band charges through the opener, "V-2," as guitarist Nick Goode and singer Elise Anderson share vocal duties in an attitude-filled sing-talk style — drums crashing while guitar riffs swirl and race around them. The dichotomy of having a male and female vocalist provides contrast within the band's tumultuous music. The vocals are muddied in the mix making it difficult to understand much of what's said or sung, though the overall energy of a song is never lost. Then again, punk was never made to sound clean and polished — it's often best heard in dark clubs at 1 a.m. While most songs clock in around two minutes, "Lie About Diet" races through in just over a minute with its scathing food-focused theme. The band thunders through the title track and many others — usually kicking each song off with a kiss of feedback — thanks to the heavy-handed drumming of Bobby Michaud, formerly of Charlotte noise-rock trio Grids and currently of Raleigh hardcore punk outfit Double Negative. Brain F≠ is currently on hiatus, though a foundation this strong will surely be revisited in the future. There's been a tangible buzz around the band surrounding each gig, and word has quickly spread about their accessible live shows which seem to attract fans of all genres. An energetic band with a solid following won't sit still for long.

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