Servere Case of Rock'n'Roll: Brain Surgeons NYC: Denial of Death (Cellsum BS10021)
What do one expect from the new Brain Surgeons NYC CD Denial of Death? Pretty much I'll say. Not at least due to the fact that the band was joined by no less than guitar-hero and hardrocker extra-ordinaire Ross the Boss who since the fall of 2004 has been performing with the band. For anybody aquainted with Brain Surgeons NYC they'll know what super-group these musicians are. Consisting of top-drummer Albert Bouchard (Ex-Blue Öyster Cult), his wife and ex-rock critic Deborah Frost on guitar and bassist David Hirschberg BS NYC has, since their previous guitarist Billy Hilfiger's sadly premature death from a brain-tumor in the fall of 2001 and with their other guitarist Peter Bohovesky subsequently leaving the music business for good, till Ross joined the band been performing as a well-playing power-trio Deborah and David alternating on bass and guitar respectively. With Ross' affiliation to the band BS NYC has now not only added a unique player but also a great songwriter and an 'architect of sound' to the band Ross being resposible for the music for the majority of the songs on the record as well as a vital part in shaping the sound and arrangements for DoD.
A current theme on DoD is the nature of the love relationship and how our existential circumstances code for our behaviour in such. Starting out with Rocket Science, an triumphant ode to the fulfiled relation, this is also one of the greatest lovesongs I have ever heard. Making nods to both The Dictators and Black Sabbath the song works great as an opener Al's 'laughing drums' and Deborah's sultry voice paired with the more sinister sounds of David and Ross next portrait Dark Secrets telling a different story of how even sinners connect before the mandolin appear flimsy in Strange Like Me throwing a compasionate but also satiric view on a life of superstition. The sinister mood continues in Constantine's Sword a song about the irony of the idea of salvation turning into fascism once straying from the love relationship theme just to return with the ultimate horror-love story of Jimmy Boots Fetisch telling the story of a scarred soul's escape into sex outré before the headbanger rocker Plaugue of Lies comes raining down on you.
The headbanging continues in 1864 a song based on Al's great grand-father's experience in the civil war telling the story of how circumstances of war haphazardly gives the ordinary person a chance to stand out by their courage this way being able to pass on the gift of an example for their descendants to follow. The theme of courage also dominates the next song Tomb Of The Unknown Monster yet another headbanger tune slightly slower in tempo than 1864 displaying a great sing-along ability, at this point leaving the listener without doubt about the freshness of the band before Deborah's and Ross' guitars rolls in on you like one big warm wave making the way for the marching beat of Swansöng leading into the breakdown of the song about being 'on the run from the summer' making the room for Al's 'talking drums'. The bleakness returns in yet another song about unfulfiled love the medium-tempoed groove-rocker Verböten dealing satirically with the phenomenon of the swinger culture before the marching beat is resumed in Lonestar telling the story of the pride and passion of a person acting tough on the outside but keeping a warm heart underneath the facade.
Ending the record is a beautifully riffing rocker Change The World Henry about how the little people of our world becomes consumed by their dreams once sustained by pop-music against the harsh realities of the circumstances they being in.
Clocking in at minutes 51:58 DoD comes on loaded like a book combining the clever with the popular with an appeal to both Dictators, Blue Öyster Cult and Manowar fans alike probably this being among the best work of both Al, Ross and the Brain Surgeons ever each song having a stand-out long-lasting quality I am not afraid to say this is one of the greatest rock records ever made!
Anders Röder, Copenhagen, 2006/03/03