Braindead is the five-track EP that spends eight-and-a-half minutes as a five-piece sucker punch. Opening with the title cut, “Braindead” blitzes through the mind with harsh cymbal dome hits to form a count-off. As the strings blow the doors in like a sonic boom, the production becomes this synth-punk display of sound.
Truthfully, Skull Cult is innovative in this lost diamond sense of the way, becoming cracking but not too destructive to be off-putting. Instead, that prowess toward aggression is used in the right places like a carefully planned blueprint for instrumentation.
“Braindead” especially has moments of rising zeniths, but also this two-stepping pattern that can get even grandma out of her chair. The quick slashes of strings are overshadowed by the shouting and somewhat nihilistic vocal outputs.
Describing, “I look around and see that everything is fucking boring…” continuing on later to illustrate, “I look around to see that everything is fucking dead.” This nihilism transfers into the second track “Mutilator” which is slowed and forms more of a gentle beating.
The production here is still dangerous but shifts the focus to the percussive elements where the drums become this consistent rattle of snare snaps and transitions to punchy bass. More exhilarating comes “Who Are You” which has Skull Cult forming as this mass of sound and fury.
Shouts return and walls of noise become the main method of approach for Braindead moving forward. Even as the ascending synths march on, “Who Are You” is the shortest display clocking in at barely a minute.
One of the final pieces is a cover of the Talking Heads famous “Psycho Killer,” only being renamed to “Cyco Killer” and having this more shouted and ambitious vocal display attacking ahead. The instrumentation is changed, not drastically but the eyes focus entirely on the vocal performance.
The drums hit, but less about being as rambunctious as before, Skull Cult takes “Cyco Killer” and makes one last dig at the audience before packing in their broken disco balls and shattered productions in one sweat-soaked bow.