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Nostalgia Pangs of Brain Rash (trash and treasure from the KZSC library #6)

I don’t make a point of advertising this, but I’ve actually donated a small amount of my collection to KZSC. Slowly, secretly, filling gaps and slipping in albums I’m willing to part with. I won’t be giving up my clear red copy of BTMI!’s Goodbye Cool World anytime soon, but my own desire to give KZSC the best library I can has driven me to supply solid releases like Holy Mountain’s Bloodstains and Doom’s Peaceville years discography. It’s also driven me to provide a record near and dear to me, Brain Rash’s The Decay Is Becoming Comforting.

I don’t know if writing about this is solipsistic or a conflict of interest or whatever. All I do know is that I put it in the KZSC library, and it is a gem that should have its moment to sparkle. I first discovered Brain Rash when I opened for them at Gilman. That in and of itself didn’t excite me. I didn’t know who they were, I was just happy to be playing the legendary Berkeley club. However, once they took the stage, something clicked. They had everything I could have wanted in a punk band. The bass was not only audible, but incredible; shredding and decimating basslines ran up and down scales and strings at mind-boggling speeds. Guitar filled the room with crunch and body, and the drums could have been played by a robot as far as metronomic precision was concerned. Needless to say, I bought their CD.

By the time I saw them opening for Anti-Flag a year later, they had put out a new album and were obviously falling apart. The bassist encompassed this odd place of both drunk and talented so that his amazing licks were flawless … but also about a second behind the rest of the band. By the time I’d left the east bay for college, they’d broken up. Out of mourning/support, I bought their second/last album, despite not owning a record player. For whatever reason, they never released CD copies. I had to digitize it myself (on KZSC equipment) to put songs on my MP3 player.

I don’t think that many people, even in the Bay Area scene, knew about them. I even had to create the listing for Decay on Discogs. But, after finding so many life-changing albums at KZSC by bands similarly unsung and forgotten, it only seemed fair to return the favor. It only seemed right to give an important moment of my life to a place that had generated so many moments of its own.

What’s left of Brain Rash can be found here.


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