BRAT – Social Grace (Prosthetic)

Monday, 18th March 2024
Rating: 7.5/10

Given the vast display of colorful band descriptions, BRAT’s ‘barbiegrind’ and ‘bimboviolence’ still managed to stand out and provide some quick context of what the band is going for. Combine it with a press photo or video and you’ve got a great idea of what to expect. With two EPs already under their belt, BRAT deliver brutal death/grind with a side of powerviolence that sonically may not push the boundaries too far, but manage to grab the listener and envelope them into a bout of visceral chaos.

With 10 songs and just over 20 minutes, you kind of know the drill. BRAT’s mix of furious grindcore and sludgy powerviolence cuts quick and deep. Buzzing guitars and pounding drums assault you as the band flies through some of the more grind-y cuts like “Ego Death” and “Truncheon” with just the right balance of terrifying speed, Liz Selfish’s barked vocals, and effective drops in tempo that focus on devastating riffs to launch the listener into a headbanging frenzy. One of the band’s strongest points is actually their ability to really get into your head with slower, mid-tempo riffs that blur some doomy, sludgy lines and couple them with powerviolence attitude and ethos, such as on the title track and “Slow Heat.” It’s this balance of balls to the wall abrasion and energy with oddly intriguing slow downs that take that abrasion into different and memorable directions that thrusts BRAT above some of their grindy breathren.

BRAT may not be on everyone’s radar in the extreme scene just yet, but Social Grace solidifies their position as excellent up and comers that are bound to spread their wings even further as time goes on. Their fiery ball of energy attacks combined with the ability to provide some necessary slowdowns with memorable riffing that’s both heavy and melodically retainable, all without sacrificing the all-important aggression, is sure to grab some listeners looking to blow off a little steam.

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