After the show a fan waiting to have Buckley autograph her copy of “Grace” asked how Taylor had died. “He blew up!,” he shouted as he grabbed a beer bottle off the bar, threw it across the room without breaking it and walked away to the jukebox on the other side of the room. Gayle Kelemen, creator of Jeff’s unofficial web page, who had introduced Jeff to Brainiac’s music and had been previously unaware of Taylor’s death, followed Buckley to the jukebox. “Are you upset about one of your favorite musicians dying?,” he snarled at her. “I hope you are, I hope you are because that’s why I create music.” – Penny Arcade
Dayton, OH Brainiac were perhaps one of the most unique bands of the 90s – they combined groove, texture and noise into one delicious aural dish. They started out in the early 90s and by the end of the decade seemed virtually unstoppable with every album being more adventurous and eclectic than its predecessor. Unfortunately, the band never finished their fourth album, as lead singer Tim Taylor was killed in a horrible car accident in ’97, but their spirit carries on.
Brainiac’s debut was 1992 “Superduperseven” single, which came out in September of that year on Limited Potential Records. Same year also saw the release of the band’s split with Bratmobile, which came out on Twelve-Vex-Twelve label.
Their first full-length – 1993 “Smack Bunny Baby” – came out on Grass Records. All Music Guide commented that “This 1993 album shows the band relying less on the sonic experimentation that marked their later work, than on pure punk exuberance.”
Zombie Underground website pointed out that “Smack” lacked “the level of sonic experimentation of the two later releases”, but it also turned out to be the band’s “most accessible and catchy effort”, while Trouser Press called the album “a solid effort from a young band still in its formative stages.”
The following year brought “Bonsai Superstar” album, which was described by Trouser Press as being “slathered in schizoid punk, synth belches, abstract noise compositions and rhythmic heat” . Furthermore,TP commented that “the album is engaging, frenetic and fucked up in all the right ways.”
Further into the 90s, the band recorded “Internationale” – a 3-song EP, which paired them with Kim Deal (Breeders / Amps), split with Cincinnati band Lazy and their final full-length – 1996 “Hissing Prigs In Static Couture”, which came out on Touch & Go.
AMG pointed out that “on their final full-length album, Brainiac move further into the unchartered territory that they explored on Bonsai Superstar, and perhaps because of that, the album seems initially less exciting.”, yet they also pointed out that it “offers up a fascinating dose of space-age sound bites, falsetto vocals and chant-along choruses.”
The last thing that the band released was 6-song EP “Electro-Shock For President”, which was produced by Jim O’Rourke (Brise-Glace, Gastr Del Sol, Sonic Youth). AMG commented that “the EP’s six songs find the group in the middle of a creative renaissance, moving away from their crazed, guitars-and-Moogs sound toward a colder, increasingly electronic, yet equally distinctive style.”
AMG also commented that “The EP’s only flaw is that it — like Brainiac’s career — ends all too quickly, reinforcing the incomplete feeling that surrounds the group’s sad, abrupt end.”
Tim Taylor’s died in a car crash on May, 23, 1997 and the band decided not to continue without him. Interestingly enough, Jeff Buckley discussed Taylor’s death during one of his concerts, shortly before his own demise. (read the Penny Arcade article here).
After the band’s demise, other members went on to form Enon, Model/Actress, The Dirty Walk and Shesus. In an interview with BBC, Trent Reznor (Nine Inch Nails) pointed out that the band and their record “Electro-Shock For President” served as an inspiration for his 2005 album “With Teeth”.
Pitchfork went on to list “Bonsai Superstar” and “Hissing Prigs In Static Couture” among 100 best albums of the 90s (former was ranked #57, while latter was ranked #73) . The band Tripping Daisy covered Brainiac’s song “Indian Poker, Pt. 2 & 3” on their 1998 album “Jesus Hits Like An Atom Bomb” and they dedicated it to Taylor and the band.
John Schmersal (Enon)
Juan Monasterio (Model / Actress)
Michael Bodine (Shesus)
Superduperseven 7″ (1992)
I Could Own You / Love Thing (Split with Bratmobile) 7″ (Twelve-Vex-Twelve, 1992)
Smack Bunny Baby CD (Grass, 1993)
Bonsai Superstar CD (Grass, 1994)
Dexatrim / Nothing 7″ (Split with Lazy) (Simple Solutions, 1994)
Internationale 7″ (Touch And Go, 1995)
Internationale CD-Single (Touch And Go, 1995)
Hissing Prigs in Static Couture LP/CD (Touch And Go, 1996)
Electro Shock For President CD / 12″ EP (Touch And Go, 1997)
“Smack Bunny Baby” on Buy This Use Compact Disc (Dutch East India Trading, 1993)
“Cookie Doesn’t Sing” on Dope-Guns-‘N’-F%%ing in The Streets Volume 10 / 8-11 (Amphetamine Reptile, 1994 /1997)
“Noth1ng 3v3r Chan935” on Mind The Gap Volume 8 (Gonzo Circus Magazine, 1996)
“Indian Poker Pt. 1″ on Opscene 50 (Gap Recordings, 1996)
“Go!” on Jabberjaw Pure Sweet Hell (Mammoth, 1996)
“Petrified” on Ubu Dance Party – A Tribute To Pere Ubu (Datapanik, 1997)
- Archival Mixtape #3 – Brainiac
- Band Profile – Brainiac
- Guilty By Association – Brainiac / O-Matic / Enon / Shesus / Model/Actress / The Dirty Walk
- Review + Download – Speedy Ortiz – Taylor Swift / Swim Fan
- Stuff You Might've Missed – Polvo
- Unspooling the Thread // Exploring African Music with Greg Nieuwsma - 25th May 2020
- Track-by-Track: Closed Circuits – Lucifer - 25th May 2020
- Upcoming Livestreams / Online Shows / Festivals – May 2020 - 21st May 2020