Brain Salad has got to be one of the most under-promoted side projects in the history of local music especially when you consider the names of the people behind the collaboration. There’s a chance that you haven’t heard of the name Brain Salad but you’ve definitely heard of the bands that joined forces to create this album – Wolfgang and Razorback. The project was mainly headed by Basti Artadi, David Aguirre, Louie Talan and Brian Velasco but many musicians from the two aforementioned bands (including Wolf Gemora, Manuel Legarda, Tirso Ripoll and Kevin Roy) and a host of other talented artists contributed to complete the 12-song “side project” album.
The band even reserved two pages of the inlay just to explain that Brain Salad was just going to be a side project – not a band. True enough, Brain Salad NEVER played a live gig. In fact, the only time that Brain Salad songs were played live was in a small gig at the now-closed Peligro bar in Makati.
Brain Salad is an interesting exploration to the musical competencies and ideations of the collaborators. It was NOT the heavy metal/ blues rock sound that Wolfgang and Razorback were known for. Instead of going the amp heavy route, Brain Salad went for a more textured approach that involved the use of keyboards, special percussion instruments and even an extra vocalist on some tracks.
The first single in the album is the haunting ‘Bulong Mo Sa Dilim‘ – a very somber and relaxing ditty that could lull you to sleep (in a good way) or make you wax poetic and philosophic as you drink bottles upon bottles of beer. Brain Salad certainly wanted to make a statement by releasing this song first. The album will NOT be heavy but it will still be a great release.
Another interesting cut from the album is ‘Concept Human‘.Â The song tackles the massive consumerist society on a fairly stern by mature tone without sacrificing musical elements along the way. It stops short of being Neo-Luddite but it does make you think. The song was released 2001 – way before all the technological advancements of the last decade and yet the song’s message still resonates to this day.
‘Inches‘ is another winner on the album. Emotions on helplessness, depression and just a general feeling of lack of purpose are explored in the song but the feel of the song is rescued into something more favorable and optimistic by the end.
Honestly, all the songs on the Brain Salad album is worth reviewing and listening it. It’s a shame that it wasn’t pushed aggressively when it was released – it was released the same time that Black Mantra came out. For those who have the album, I hope you take this post as a cue to wipe the dust off your CD cases and give the Brain Salad album another spin. It’s certainly one of the best albums of this generation and you’re very lucky to have one of the few copies out there.