Best Band to Die in the Past 12 Months

The Brainstems

The Brainstems' classic jangly sound first busted up some ears in the latter part of 2011. The raucous crew played little more than eighteen months, serving up a finely tuned brew of garage rock. The band's messy approach felt distinct and planned rather than overly tight — after all, rock & roll happens in the dark where it's hard to see the guitars. Drummer Kenny Hofmeister thrashed away at the skins, eschewing rock drums in lieu of punk-fueled beats. The layered guitars, by way of Sam Clapp and Sean Cotton, bordered on both harsh and pleasant, lending rough edges where needed. Songs were smoothed by Andrew Warshauer's deep bass, and vocal howls graced each song with classy hooks. The band's only record, Stryofoam, came out on cassette in November 2012. Seven months later the Brainstems bowed out, leaving us with a tiny plastic gem — no more, no less.

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