Career of Brilliance: The Brain
Surgeons: Black Hearts of Soul - 10th Anniversary (Bad Reputation 3098762)
One of the most remarkable careers
in the history of rockmusic is that of Albert Bouchard. Original co-founder
and drummer of highly intelligent rock band Blue Öyster Cult Albert has
since his departure from BÖC in 1981 since 1994 together with his wife
and rockcritic Deborah Frost had the band the Brain Surgeons. A virtual
supergroup from the start, since their beginning having released a string of
excellent albums, that with poetic, humorous and meaningful lyrics displayed
through charming musical wit does what any good band should do: Pushes
the limits for creating exitement that'll put you in an inspired
mood. Now just take Eponymous the very first BS CD. If you can find a better
party-CD TELL ME ABOUT IT! - the BS backcatalogue being a virtual
treasure-trove of great songs making picking songs for a compilation seem
like no difficult task.
Consisting of songs from the whole
BS catalogue BHoS has, with the ecception of the first song a re-recorded
version of "Lady of the Habour", introducing BS newest member
guitarist Ross 'The Boss' Friedman, and the last song "(666) Devil Got
Your Mother" from Eponymous, its emphasis on the more fast straight
rocking material of the band that with its remastered sound seem
perfectly guided towards Euro Radio airplay.
"Lady of the Habour"
originally appearing in a sort of electric folk-rock version on the BS 2CD
release Piece of Work here comes with a big heavy sound Albert and
'tricky' David Hirschberg on bass holding down the beat, while the
guitars comes washing in over you like one big warm wave, as Deborah
rhetorically asks: Do you have a dream? presenting the somewhat
ambigious image of the title. Following is two 'disappear in smoke'
sort-of-versions of BÖC classics "Cities on Flame" and "Vera
Gemini" that just cooks. This is the closest BS has ever been to
sounding something akin to BÖC the three new songs indicating a bigger more
textured sound than previously heard on the BS releases, having explored
everything from experimental to psychedelic to hardrock and countryrock
leanings but always with that great BS sense of humour pervading. Cool, fun
even sometimes bordering on the macabre and always tongue-in-cheek. So while
the new songs seem to present a more 'serious' straightrocking band, having
heard live versions of material for the forthcoming CD, the good news is
that BS has lost none of its quirky charm, the new songs merely being a
cover-up, a little 'sugar on the spoon' one may say, to lead the way for
presenting this more straight party-rocking side of the BS backcatalogue.
Gradually moving back through their career BHoS includes the Helen Robbins
penned fast rocker "Gun" as well as a 'new' version of "The
Red & The Black" with new lyrics and entitled "Operation
Luv" (The BÖC song "Cities on Flame" also appears sung in
Spanish(!) on the BS release Malpractise) taken from the BS release Box of
Hammers. Representing the more experimental and psychedelic side of BS is a
2002 fanclub re-recording of "Saint Virtus Dance" that originally
also appears on Box of Hammers and the previously mentioned "(666)
Devil Got Your Mother" none of the songs chosen for BHoS being slow
with even the ballad representation the Patti Smith co-penned
"Sally" taken from BS' second release Trepanation being a
medium-fast rocker, on BHoS the BS backcatalogue is being displayed from its
most garage-rocking side.
I've Seen the Future of Brain
Surgeons, and it's COCK-ROCK!
I recently got very hurt when at
a party playing BHoS to somebody this vulgar goofy-looking bloke present
upon being asked his opinion did exclaim: It sounds like Cock-Rock! Feeling
a sting in my heart from hearing those gross words of his, having in my
naivety expected him to come up with something like 'very
sophisticated' or even 'groovy', I with a pain in my heart quickly retreated
to the kitchen sucking on my beer his snarling lip and mocking eyes forever
imprinted in my mind.
More recently seeing his vulgar grinning as I toss and turn in my sleep I have begun having nightmares about this incident. Well they say dreams can come true and even nightmares too as I cover my ears seeing his curled lips form: COCK-ROCK and as he grins. Yet with live versions of the new songs for the forthcoming CD in mind BS is going for more garage-rock type of songs, sort of "If AC/DC had had humour" type of songs one may even say so maybe he was right?
Anders Röder, Copenhagen