Satan who thou art in heaven – please forgive me for not having discovered the BRATS back in the old days. I remember hearing this album occassionally around the time when MERCYFUL FATE released their three first masterpieces, but it never did much for me. I particularly remember when I saw MERCYFUL FATE live in Poperinge, Belgium, at the “Heavy Sound Festival” in 1984, how some motorcycle-guy made me listen to some BRATS on his walkman – it didn’t leave much impression on me, especially not in the heydays of MERCYFUL FATE – the gig that night was incredible and so were the whole circumstances. I was barely 16 years of age, we got harassed by the belgian cops in Brussels, slept in the wreck of coach after the festival, only to be pulled out constantly by other cops and the night before the festival, we tried to crash in the pouring rain, until some roadie let us sleep on the table in one abandoned mobile home. But with the line-up of the festival, this couldn’t put us down: MotÃ¶rhead, Metallica, Twisted Sister, H-Bomb, Lita Ford, Baron Rojo and Mercyful Fate. It was fucking amazing, still very underground, with a very mixed audience.
BRATS formed in 1977 and released two singles plus this album. Both guitarists, Hank Shermann and Michael Denner later went on to form MERCYFUL FATE. The album, with a super nice silver laminated cover, failed to be a commercial success so the band got the boot from the major CBS label oh too soon.
But what a record this is! No wonder I didn’t get it when I was younger. The mixture of Punk and NWOBHM with both Glam and Powerpop sidekicks has got to be heard to believed! So extremly thrilling, so full of joy and pleasure! Some of the vocal lines will make your head go round in circles! Sure, the obvious hits like “Punk Fashion” or “Fuel” should appeal to the readers of this blog immediately, but give this milestone a close fifth and sixth listen and realize that this is one of the few perfect albums – it couldn’t possibly be better than it is. Guaranteed! Take the song “Complex (Don’t destroy me)”: This has it all – from the Mercyful Fate-ish spooky feeling to Pop and Punk. Can you fucking believe this?! Or then “Sense my Boy” with its Dead Boys touch – bloody hell, so wonderful, it’s not from this world anymore!!!!!!
Vinyl plays pretty noisy, so I would suggest you go and buy the reissue (you’ll find it on eBay) or save a bit of cash (ca. 150$) and get yourself a first press. Oh yes – the recod was actually produced by CBS Holland, not Denmark. The band was from Denmark, but I didn’t want to confuse the readers too much.
And now, sing along:
Â«You believe in fashion
yeah, that is your passion.
Punk in mass production
fashion is destruction.
Regiment the masses
they’re wearing punk sunggasses [sic!].Â»
Tame Me (Insomniac).mp3
Complex (Don’t Destroy Me).mp3
Pinned On My Eyelids.mp3
Sense My Boy.mp3