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Brainoil live at the Maximum Rock ‘n’ Roll festival Oakland Metro

28 April 2016 No Comment

Artist: Brainoil
Venue:Oakland Metro
Show:Still Not Quiet on the Western Front-MRR Fest
Date: Friday February 12, 2016
By: Josh Kutras

First of all, the Oakland Metro moved, some of you are saying “No shit”, others are like “The what? Where? huh?”. Anyway, I found it, and the location is sandwiched between a few upscale bars/restaurants and a Sodasopa style shopping area. Good news though, the youngster selling delicious, nutritious, bacon dogs, and other fried sausage assorments was present, and the griddle was hot! I digress…

On this particular evening, we went to the metro to see Maximum Rock ‘n’ Roll’s ‘Still not quiet on the Western Front’ fest, featuring over thirty DIY bands with shows in San Francisco, Oakland, and Berkeley. Iron Lung, and Brainoil co headlined a raucous evening which also saw openers Strange Faces, Permanent Ruin,and Communion of Thieves bring the unwashed Oakland crowd into a violent frenzy in preparation for the elder statesmen of the underground.


If you are not familiar with Brainoil take a quick minute to listen here. Now that you have heard, and you are somewhat familiar with the juggernaut known as Brainoil, know this if you haven’t seen them live yet then you haven’t heard heavy.

Vocalist/bass player Greg Wilikinson is hard to miss once he takes the stage, a tall thin figure with long grey curly hair, and a wizards beard. He walks on flips on his amp, straps on his bass, addresses the crowd, and thanks the openers and friends Iron Lung.Then Wilkinson, guitarist/vocalist Nathan Smith, and drummer Ira Harris aka, Brainoil, proceeded to punish the packed house with down tuned, thick as molasses, bass heavy Sabbath worship riffs. Drummer Ira Harris’s odd timed fills punctuate the slow barrage of doom riffs with something a little faster paced than the standard boom, crash sludge drummers so often succumbs to. Pulling from their two full lengths, and numerous splits Brainoil has all but trademarked their sludge meets punk sound, a sound that is simultaneously heavy, and crisp and clean at the same time. This can probably be attributed to not only the individual members talents and experiences in numerous other bands including, Grimple, Laudanum, Stormcrow, and Watch them Die, but also to the fact that Wilkinson is an accomplished Recording engineer, with his own studio Earhammer Studios in Oakland, CA.

By the time the band played ‘Death of this Dry Season’, the title track from their 2011 album,the mostly inebriated crowd, was in a frenzy and much like myself could have listened to two more hours of that joyful noise with ease. But alas, all good things must end, and Brainoil finished up making way for the two man wrecking crew of Iron Lung. With Brainoils minimal recorded output, one would be lead to believe with all of the shows they’ve racked up lately maybe there is something new coming down the pike, one can hope….

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