Body or Brain – Second Star to the Right


Body or Brain - Second Star to the Right

Body or Brain put on their emo pants and deliver a debut album that runs 19 1/2 minutes. Emo isn’t generally a favorable genre in critic’s circles, for a variety of reasons, so Body or Brain already have that working against them. Emo is a cookie cutter brand of music; you know what you’re getting from the start, with the bombastic power chords, frenetic tempos, and high-strung falsetto vocals. You’ve heard an emo song, you know what I’m talking about. It’s like a straightjacket, in that everything has to stay within the confines of a minute space, in order to retain the emo sound. So, when Body or Brain are 20 seconds into the album, I don’t think, “Oh, this is Body or Brain”, I think, “Oh, this is emo.” Following the emo pattern robs Body or Brain of having any type of identity, they instantly sound like a hundred other bands. Now, I do like Brand New a lot, but I’d contend that they were able to separate themselves from the pack by being more creative and talented than everyone else. My point being, Body or Brain instantly puts itself behind the 8-ball by being an emo band, and the band failed to keep my mind from wandering throughout its 19 minute stretch.

Each song comes and goes in similar fashion. Riffs of alternating notes and power chords try to force the songs into a melodic direction, but unfortunately, they pass through without much ado. Jakey Lee’s melodies, in the emo vocalist style, reach high but comes back down empty handed. Lee’s melodic sense doesn’t hit home, which leaves little to resonate in listener’s minds and almost nothing infectious enough to sing back. Nothing on this album is uncomfortable or unpleasant, but nothing sticks; every song passes through like a breeze. Jakey Lee’s crew fails to do anything that makes you pay attention. Trust me when I say, minds will most certainly wander when subjected to Body or Brain.