Top positive review
24 people found this helpful
on May 9, 2002
Definitely one of the wackiest albums ever recorded, every track is an absolute corker. The whole album was put onto tape in 5 days of madness at Advisions studios London.
For the sessions Guy Stevens the bands original mentor was brought back after not being at the controls for the bands previous album "Wildlife" (which the band themselves had already dubbed mildlife) Guy arrived at the studio with engineer Andy Johns, who was feeling no pain having just come away from the Rolling Stones, armed with a case of Vino Calapso and dressed as Zoro with cape, mask and sword, insisting the tracks were all laid down in one take. "Brain Capers" (featuring the Brain Caper Kids) as the album became known, had an amazing atmosphere with last gasp energy capturing Mott in a wild and manic mood, predating punk rock, the overall feel of Brain Capers was barely controlled chaos, but it remains a brilliant and crucial album. Once described as the great lost hard rock L.P. of all time, the record drew a line in the sand between sixties and seventies music (recorded in 1971 six months before Bowie gave Mott "All The Young Dudes") revealing almost everything called rock and the subsequent punk movement six years later to be nothing short of fraudulent, after just one listen to this album you can clearly hear where "The Sex Pistols" and "The Damned" got their influences.
Opening track "Death May Be Your Santa Claus" is a pounding rocker with fearsome guitars, wailing organ, a catchy hook, and carrying a trademark message of defiance.
Tracks two and three were imaginative and tasteful covers versions of Dion Dimuccis auto biographical anti drug song "Your Own Backyard" and the Young bloods neglected classic "Darkness Darkness" featuring Mick Ralphs on vocals and contained some excellent guitar. Mott had the panache to re-interpret other writers material with feeling and understanding.
"The Journey", a sad introspective masterful ballad, some eight minutes long was Mott equivalent of Zeppelin's "Stairway To Heaven", building to a dramatic conclusion. The Journey started life as a poem, before becoming the central piece of Mott's stage act, demonstrating Hunter is a writer who has made a major contribution to rock music. The song was also a personal favorite of Verden Allen, who's keyboard playing excelled throughout Brain Capers most notably on this opus.
"Sweet Angeline" is a brilliant all out rocker, with Hunter adopting Dylanesque vocals, and is still in his solo live set today.
"Second Love" was Verden Allen's first song recorded by Mott the Hoople and fair plucks at the old heartstrings.
The penultimate track "The Moon Upstairs" is one of the most powerful tracks that Mott ever recorded. The song was unquestionably six years ahead of its time being a frightening "New Wave" fuzz tone premonitions that musically and lyrically rendered late seventies "Punk Rock" tone clumsy, and lacking in any real substance.
Brian Capers coda was a two minute instrumental piece named "The Wheel Of The Quivering Meat Conception" which was actually nothing more than the climax from a frantic jam from one of the sessions from "The Journey" a fine way to close the album.
Mott the Dog.