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CD REVIEW: Organic Brain Syndrome – J-Rock
By Ben Ohmart - 06/28/2001 - 11:52 AM EDT

Artist: Band: Organic Brain Syndrome
Album: J-Rock
CD Review: The band is really called Organic Brain Syndrome, but J-Rock is now the star, having a huge cult following from his years of coming up with the kind of music usually kept behind the counter at worried indie music establishments. While his/their music is too pop/rock-oriented to be called completely experimental, the same is true that it won’t show up on Billboard as is.

Just one listen at the 1st track, which is a combination of ‘Future Rock Stars Contemplating Smack,’ ‘Alone in a Dreamlike State,’ and ‘Drainman’ is enough to prove the point. Energy and excitement, recorded at a little lower volume than J’s follow-up albums, plus a plethora of samples – that is the secret sauce. This 1st track lasts for 18 minutes, and like Lumpy Gravy and similar releases, it’s hard to tell where one cut starts and the other begins when it’s glued together. But by the time the Song finishes, you personally feel like you’ve been washed with your clothes on. You’re exhausted!

Organic Brain Syndrome are:
J-Rock – lead, vocals, all guitars, samples
Dr. Reality – drums, drum machines and samples
Menace – 6 string bass and samples

With those names, you’d think they’re going for Residents anonymity, eh? Perhaps so, considering that they’re attempting to bridge a gap between rock and experimental in such a way that no one could be left happy. The music scientists might want to keep their genre cleansed of all popular thought, while the popular thinkers might surmise that all eclecticism should be left in the classroom. Regardless, J-Rock has found and fully exploits a thing Every artist is seeking, whether they admit it or not: a niche market.

When a style is developed, there are lovers and haters of it. Therein digresses and progresses an offshoot group that’s going to want something else; an in-between alternative. You can’t get anymore in-between or alternative than what These people are doing to guitars and recorders.

That’s not to say this is J-Rock’s best work necessarily, but judging or reviewing this music is a bit like telling your grandma how to suck eggs. Totally useless. I’m just telling you what kind of music it’s Closest to – now you go out and see whether it’s brilliance or shinny sh*t.

Personally, I opt for the 1st choice. Though this cd is from 1996, I was only just sent it. While the whole of the music might be vaguely more primitive than J-Rock’s later cds, it still shines with a polished professional demeanor and insane love for the self-effaced genre. He loves doing it, you can tell, and doesn’t worry about explanations or story. The sort of stuff that will have books written about it in 20 years if he can attain some international fame now. He just may!

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