Whatever Brains have always been a band inclined toward the grand statement, but their latest release reaches new levels of epic. Not a conventional LP or a double LP, SSR-63/SSR-64 is actually two separate EPs packaged as one. SSR-63 is a single 22-minute track spread across both sides of a 45RPM 12". A series of linked compositions a la Venomäó»s At War with Satan or the Subhumansäó» From the Cradle to the Grave, SSR-63äó»s lyrics chronicle the plight of a Russian family who lived in complete isolation in remote Siberia for more than 40 years. The music is similarly wide in scope, drifting organically from maximalist punk to minimalist, country-tinged lament to pumping electronica in an astoundingly natural fashion. As for the other 12äó?, itäó»s a new 4-song EP called SSR-64, which continues to develop the wide sonic palette that the best tracks on their previous LP hinted at. SSR-64 also delivers äóìUVOD,äó? the closest thing to a pop hit Whatever Brains have ever created. As ever, a good portion of the people reading this will be confused and repulsed by the Whatever Brains, while the remainder will insist vocally that this is one of the most truly innovative and exciting records of 2014.
I should also mention the physical characteristics of this release, because itäó»s one that youäó»re definitely going to want to own on vinyl. First of all, we put a lot of effort (and money) into mastering for this release, and the result is easily the best-sounding (fidelity-wise, at least) record that Sorry State has ever produced. Since we splurged on the sonics, weäó»ve done our best to keep the price of this thing low with screen printed jackets made from recycled materials. In a world of tossed-off, insta-file releases, holding SSR-63/SSR-64 in your hands will make you realize why you still care about vinyl.