Brain Failure/Big D & the Kids Table
Beijing to Boston
Beijing punk meets Boston punk in an aggressively joyous split by Brain Failure and Big D & the Kids Table.
Though half of the disc is supposed to represent the far East side of things, as a whole it remains mostly a celebration of Boston inspired punk ska. Guest stars Dicky Barrett (Mighty Mighty Bosstones) and Ken Casey (Dropkick Murphys) only drive this point further home. Honestly, you’d never know that Brain Failure were from China if you never saw a picture and only one song (“Fall in Love 2008”) has vocals sung in Chinese — and it’s not even the whole song! I’m not criticizing the fact that these guys sound so authentically American as to bled into the Boston bred pool of punk, but if you’re going to listen to an album Beijing to Boston, you’d expect a bit more differentiation between the two bands. Setting that aside, they’ve got some catchy tunes and the best one in this batch is “You’re Gonna Die.”
Big D & the Kids Table are essentially Less Than Jake meets NOFX. Sax, trombone and trumpet overtop of punk rock power chords and aggressive, but fun, vocals. They sound just like LTJ, except when they slip into Operation Ivy territory (“I’m Yours Boston”). These guys are still searching for the last ride on the 3rd Wave Ska movement of the ’90s. They do it well, I’ll give them that.
This is one of those CDs you may pick up in a used bin at your local record store (if you can still find one) for $6. You’ll get a few spins out of it, and maybe find yourself a fun new song or two, but there’s nothing here that’s gonna blow your mind and send you flying.
Bad News Records: www.badnewsrecords.com