DBC: Dead Brain Cells

Rating: 75%

7965Back in 1988, I walked into one of the three music stores in downtown Frederick, Maryland as I did every Friday night. After looking through the cassettes, I saw this album called Dead Brain Cells. I pulled the tape out and the artwork as simple as it was, caught my eye. I took it up to the counter and threw a $10 bill on the table and paid for it. Upon walking out of the store, I pulled out my walkman, and placed this tape into it and hit play. I was remember thinking to myself “Holy Shit!” Who are these guys?  They were so different compared to Megadeth, Slayer, Overkill and Death Angel.

Dead Brain Cells, aka DBC is a Canadian Trash and Speed Metal band. The have produced only two full records and both were released in late 1980’s. DBC consisted of Phil Dakin on vocals and bass, Eddie Shahini and Gerry Ouellette on guitars and Jeff St. Louis on drums. Their self titled debut DBC was released in 1987.

The music has that crossover thrash metal sound with some speed elements thrown into it. The music structure is good, it’s aggressive, it’s hard hitting almost like the band is preparing for all out assault, and there are lots of tempo changes. But there are some off beats to the music, that seems to be out of place. Although, the music isn’t as heavy as Slayer, the music is very aggressive with lots of fast paced drumming with a touch of black metal influence. The leads ragged and jagged, which is very unique.  There are a lot of riffs on this album and some weird ass scales being used by both, the guitars and the bass. Speaking of bass guitar, the bass is clearly heard and almost has a progressive influence or at least that is what I feel and at times, is very brutal. Production isn’t bad considering it comes from the 1980’s. A little background noise in the final product.

The vocal style is something that’s a bit different. It’s not really clean, but yet, it’s not dirty. It’s kind of in between and it diffidently is in a category that stands by itself. The vocal work keeps up with the tempo of the music. Lyrically, the themes are based upon several headlines of the day from Science, to Politics and the End.

Although, I gave this record an average rating, it doesn’t make it a bad record. The music is good and the musicianship is great. This is diffidently, an under rated band and a band that is really unappreciated today.

Track listing:

“Power and Corruption”
“Public Suicide”
“Negative Reinforcement”
“Terrorist Mind”
“The Vice”
“Trauma X”
“Final Act”


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