Album review: BRAT – Social Grace

Ever imagined a Barbie girl in a deathgrind world? BRAT take that to the extreme on their caustic debut album…

Album review: BRAT – Social Grace
Emma Wilkes

BRAT are here to fuck with you. Behind the New Orleans quartet’s penchant for pink is a violent streak, which combined births the oxymoronic genre of bimboviolence (absolutely not to be confused with bimbocore a la Scene Queen). It would be foolish, however, to write off their subversive aesthetic as a gimmick, especially when their debut album proves they have an extremely solid musical backbone, as well as a hell of a lot of rage.

Crammed into Social Grace’s 20-minute runtime are a litany of ideas dripping in misanthropy and outrage, and if you need a moment of respite, then tough tits, you’re not getting one. Opener Ego Death is an all out assault with an undertone of dread, thinning to an eerie thrum before hulking back into life, before they ask the question: “What if Slipknot played deathgrind?” and answer it in vicious fashion with Hesitation Wounds. While singer Liz Selfish might look like she’s come from a pink dream house, she screams – or rather, bellows – like she’s swallowed someone twice her size, which only accentuates just how beastly this band sounds.

The two major highlights, however, arrive later in the record. The devilishly thrashy Rope Drag rumbles along with an insistent yet demonic pace in a way that’s instantly memorable, while the stomping title track that concludes the record burns white-hot with 'Utter distaste / For the human race' and posits that 'We are to blame' for an 'Earth that hates us.'

While it’s hardly aiming to be all smiles, it’s undeniable that in today’s grim world, there’s a place for such blunt, unshackled disdain that they occupy brilliantly. On top of that though, there’s a sense that they’re here to kick a door down, and if this album helps in the fight to trample on heavy music stereotypes, that can only be a good – and deserved – thing.

Verdict: 4/5

For fans of: Pest Control, 200 Stab Wounds, Slayer

Social Grace is released on March 15 via Prosthetic

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