On their second single for Bull City Records, Whatever Brains reprise the formula of their Mount Whatever platter, recasting songs from their startlingly catchy Soft Dick City cassette beside a new tune or two. Here, the fresh jam is the B-side, “Saddle Up,” which unreels wiry guitar lines before pulling back for the chord-bashing, steady rolling lunge that Rich Ivey is so good at hollering, slurring and staggering through. It sounds more reminiscent of the cassette’s tape-hiss punk-pop than the revived A-side cuts. “What Happened To All The Destructionaires?” and “Eli Porter, Class of 2005” (previously billed as “Eli c/o 2k5”) now wear new suits and portend a big future. A thick synth pulse beneath “Destructionaires” adds a new vitality in the form of a chest-pounding brashness. “You tried and you failed and look what it’s gotten you now,” Ivey moans. Then comes the cavalcade. “Eli Porter,” likewise boasts a broader, bolder palette, sounding something like The Arcade Fire ravaged by punk and sloshed with cheap beer. That is, the too-measured bombast stretches until it rips like a ratty T-shirt.
Whatever Brains play Friday, Nov. 6, at Troika Music Festival, and Friday, Nov. 13, at Local 506 with Times New Viking.