Brainwasher by The Crystal Moth [Single Review]

Words: Joe Wilson

There is something quirky to be felt when listening to The Crystal Moth’s new single Brainwasher. The name says it all, denoting a neurological experience, perhaps Medicare could use it as an alternative (dare I say homeopathic) treatment for brain tumours – the single is just that much of a brain tease.

You get hints of blues, dabs of psychedelia and whimsical alt-rock all laid out across the eight minutes of audible goodness. Opening with a jangly, sharp guitar chord – the track shivs just as much as it swings the listener – whether it’s getting kicked in the gut by the staccato chords or being swung and smoothed over by lead vocalist Michael McIntosh’s lyrical vocals, it’s a track which elaborates a damning cynical tone mixed with a jaunty humour.

The chorus is met with a wave of instrumentation, with the guitars and keys going all out and matching the emotional tenacity of McIntosh. And that’s where this single works so well, it’s a track that melds genres and allows the whole band to satisfyingly run in sync with each other – nothing ever feels out of place.

The latter half of the tracks fills with a slow, undulating, (if not charismatic) guitar solo. Feeling like a contemporary orchestral piece, the track wears on and finishes in a mesmerising fashion. At times feeling like a film score and at others feeling like a rock anthem, your brain is certainly in for a time with this one.