Brainstorm - Earth Zero

Year of Release: 2001
Label: self-released
Catalog Number: n/a
Format: CD
Total Time: 59:02:00

Talk about time capsules. While listening to Brainstorm's CD release of its 1995 album Earth Zero, I couldn't help but wonder if the members of Hawkwind had been cloned in their early years and put into a cryogenic state, only to be released somewhere in Australia decades later. Yes, I'm thinking exactly what you're thinking. This record does indeed sound as if it had been recorded during the late sixties or early seventies, but to be completely honest, it doesn't really sound like Hawkwind, and, although this kind of music is certainly nothing new, it can be pretty cool to listen to given the appropriate mood.

Brainstorm is most appropriately described as an equal share of space rock and the quickest tinges of early psychedelia, with just a vague trace or two of the Moody Blues and Pink Floyd. Despite the fact that the album is a cohesive unit, however, there is more than enough variety to keep the listener interested throughout its duration; something that will undoubtedly happen to all those interested in this type of music. The whole shebang certainly starts off great with the rocking "Freeway;" a high-speed-driving anthem that sinks in with its obvious enthusiasm after a few listens. Hey, who doesn't like driving the freeway in one's car?

Earth Zero is seldom truly rocking, however; at least by today's standards. A more fitting picture would be one of upbeat acceleration put up against moody and reflective pieces interlaced with intergalactic lyrics that sporadically appear throughout. Particularly clever were the short comments regarding each track on the album's booklet, as they certainly made for an added moment of reflection and enhanced the lyrics' significance. The true meat of the record, however, consists of the moody "Stasis" (which, probably by accident, rips off a segment from Black Sabbath's "Spiral Architect") and "Back Home From Terra," the rocking, Hawkwind-like "Tyranny," and the band's most ambitious and least standard piece, the six-part "Armageddon."

It is with that closing suite that Brainstorm changes into full and declared space rock mode, which moves through tension-raising vocal lines, epic outro riffs, instrumental space segments, and a gorgeous melancholy in the form of "Morning Red." Certainly a great way of ending the album on a high note, which comes across as particularly good when taking into account that some of the songs on Earth Zero were a bit too retro for my tastes (ditto for the album's sound). True, if you're not interested in a band that would have probably had more chances of making it three decades ago, Brainstorm is not for you, but if this is your thing, definitely give these Aussies a chance!

Freeway (4:11) / Vandal's Hymn (4:40) / No-one Knows (4:28) / Stasis (4:49) / Slow Train Of The Lie (3:33) / Back Home On Terra (3:01) / Triplanetary (4:11) / The Last Long Summer (2:14) / Anarchy (3:16) / Tyranny (2:57) / Armageddon (20:56): I No Tomorrow - II Segue 1 - III Morning Red - IV Segue 2 - V Afterglow - VI Omega

Steve Bechervaise - keyboards and synthesizers
Craig Carter - guitars, vocals, sequencer
Paul Foley - vocals, guitar, recorder, synthesizer
Jeff Powerlett - bass and vocals
Phil Schreck - drums, percussion, and vocals

Earth Zero (1995)
Tales Of The Future (1998)
Desert World (2005)

Genre: Progressive Rock

Origin AU

Added: August 25th 2002
Reviewer: Marcelo Silveyra
Artist website:
Hits: 1411
Language: english


[ Back to Reviews Index | Post Comment ]