They have a powerful, stripped down sound – Laura-Mary Carter’s siren like voice and Steve Ansell’s insistent, nasal tones hover over a grinding guitar to produce 40 odd minutes of raw fatalism and fuck the world punk tinged rock. It doesn’t matter where or when you listen to them, because it’s always going to feel like pouring Red Stripe into your frontal lobes at 1am. And that always feels nice.
Lyrics are hammered like nails into your coffin – “Nothing CAN stop THIS creeping fear” moans Carter on You Bring Me Down. “Trying so hard to be listened to” they both shout, perhaps while ordering another drink.
After all that cheap lager – a few cigarettes as well, everyone’s got to die some time – you’ll be ready to jam yourself into the grimiest, indiest club you can find and drink tequila out of fluorescent plastic shot glasses. “I can’t function in this dead end” she sings. Nothing for it but to hit the bottle, then.
But I do get excited (and drunk) quite easily. The truth is BRS aren’t without their flaws. A bit like Red Stripe as well, in fact, their strength is also their biggest problem – a sound that starts out being exciting, vibrant and rebellious, ends up being repetitive, a touch self-indulgent even.
By the time you get to ADHD, or This Is Not For You, you’re probably beginning to feel as if you’ve heard it all before – sobering up, perhaps, and maybe the hangover has started to kick in. If track one is visiting that dark, basement club on a Friday, then listening to the lot is like staying there until the following Tuesday. By which time, someone is bound to have put the lights on.
And where will they go next? Such simple debuts are at times impossibly difficult to follow up – they need to complicate the sound, go somewhere, not just a different club, but perhaps a different night out altogether. Or maybe they’ll feel like staying in and watching a movie? Which would please no-one.
But – save all that talk about the future for the morning after. BRS may be simple, a touch on the repetitive side, and quite possibly bad for you. But they’re also wonderfully exuberant, dark, grimy, fun. Don’t take them too seriously – and enjoy them with a drink. It’s probably what they’d want anyway.