The American Dream
When one thinks of good, hard-driving street punk, these cities come to mind, London, New York, Philadelphia, and a couple others. One doesnâ€šÃ„Ã´t tend to think of Beijing as a punk city. Beijingâ€šÃ„Ã´s Brain Failure, with their style of anthemic, catchy punk rock, are hoping to change this, with their new album American Dreamer. Itâ€šÃ„Ã´s surprising to discover that their singer, Xiao Rong, went to one of the most elite schools in China and didnâ€šÃ„Ã´t grew up as a gutter punk. His vocal style has influences of many singers, including Joe Strummer, Johnny Bonnel (Swinginâ€šÃ„Ã´ Utters), and Jason Navarro (The Suicide Machines). The lyrics are catchy, whether itâ€šÃ„Ã´s the ska-styled â€šÃ„ÃºSecond Hand Pogo,â€šÃ„Ã¹ complete with gang vocals and â€šÃ„ÃºOiâ€šÃ„Ã¹ chants, or something more straight-up punk such as â€šÃ„ÃºCome Together.â€šÃ„Ã¹ Rong sings in English the whole time, keeping any culture shock to a minimum. Mark from the Unseen even makes a guest appearance on this album, lending some of his on vocals to â€šÃ„ÃºPlayed.â€šÃ„Ã¹
The music is simple and danceable, perfect for circle pits, pogo-ing, or two-stepping. Each song is upbeat and short, their longest track clocking in at a little over 3 minutes. Brain Failure knows punk rock, and American Dreamer shows this time and again.
When Ken Casey of the Dropkick Murphyâ€šÃ„Ã´s produces an up and coming bandâ€šÃ„Ã´s record, it goes to show that the album is going to be intense. Every track is a punk anthem, keeping things simple without making them boring or watered down. If you need a new album to chant and sing along with, American Dreamer will fit the spot perfectly.