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Washington, Washington DC, United States | Established. Jan 01, 2012

Washington, Washington DC, United States
Established on Jan, 2012
Band Rock Post-punk


This band has not uploaded any videos
This band has not uploaded any videos



"BRNDA - "Thanks For Playing" | Album Review"

There’s a mediocre haze that permeates the entirety of Thanks For Playing, the most recent effort by Washington DC jangle-pop underdogs BRNDA. I mean this not in terms of the quality of their output (quite the opposite), but the subject matter described by frontman Dave Lesser (with additional vocals from percussionist Leah Gage) is more often less than the reality we believe we’re entitled to, or at least what we expect.

Album opener “House Show” is a pertinent example of this mentality, its lyrics a double-edged sword that both indicts as well celebrates DIY music and culture. Lesser employs a tongue-in-cheek description of a designated “cool band” with fragmentary lyrics and bad equipment that leads to a celebratory chorus of the “cool night” that is to be had by all. While one can sense a certain appreciation for the scene underscoring the lyrical sarcasm, it is a prose of backhanded compliments and bitter thoughts that characterizes the entirety of Thanks For Playing, and the musical element that makes it as enjoyable as it is authentic.

As the album chugs onwards, tracks like “Sixteen Thousand Pounds” and “How to Perform a Tombstone Piledriver (With Pictures)” lean into BRNDA’s more discordant sonic textures, paired with a numbed-out free association narrative that is both disorienting and evocative. Both tracks allude to an amalgamation of culture that has reached the point of content saturation, Lesser moving between name-dropping various pro-wrestling moves and describing “sixteen thousand pounds of a jellyfish’s mind.” The pairing of free association lyrics and a post-punk sound helps to craft a non-literal cultural tableau that discombobulates the listener and imparts of a feeling of modern nausea that is representative of our media-saturated landscape.

This nausea is reiterated on “Five Dollar Shake” (with obvious allusions to Pulp Fiction) in another continuous beatnik description of consuming “blow on fire,” “puffed pieces of fish” and “golden stuffed double dutched deep battered and fried.” The pervasive irony of Lesser as narrator demanding items for consumption (be it media, foodstuffs or drugs) while simultaneously hoping “there’s gonna be more than this” resonates the conspicuous consumption many of us engage in as a means of deducing identity. From a technical perspective, the track’s last two minutes of guitar interplay against radio static, hisses and hums represent some of the best instrumentation of Thanks For Playing in terms of BRNDA’s ability to intersperse bright twee textures with garage-rock dirt.

It’s hard to say if the album’s last track, “Mayhem Tom,” finds any peace in the less-than-average cards we are dealt as individuals - I’m inclined to think the album’s last statement of “I hate my mom and I hate my dad and I’m mayhem tom and I make them glad” is an allusion to the possibility of music as a tool to deduce some pleasure from this world (but that might be a stretch). Overall however, BRNDA’s ability to make witty, sarcastic romps does help find solace in an overarching worldview many of us share; things might kind of suck, but at least we’re in this together. - post-trash

"15 Washington D.C. Bands You Need To Know in 2018"

Four-piece BRNDA take classic art-rock and post-punk and infuse it with shades of pop, addressing our present-day quandaries. The band’s 2018 release, the six-track Thanks for Playing, melds spiky, rhythmic rock with subversive, tongue-in-cheek humor and amusing wordplay. - Paste Magazine


2018 - 'Thanks for Playing' - Banana Tapes (Nashville)
2015 - 'Year of the Manatee' - Babe City Records (DC)
2014 - 'brenda' - Odessa Madre (DC)


Feeling a bit camera shy


BRNDA, a four-piece from DC, has been compared to Adam and the Ants, Parquet Courts and Pixies. Perhaps this panoply of cultural post-its is unavoidable at a time when all music is listenable, always pilferable. BRNDA, like any honest band, admits to the plundering, but they do have a few rules: No covers, No love songs. Also, simple is always better. So if they have scoured the late 70s, 80s and early 2010s for musical detritus, they haven't made off with just anything salvageable. No, only the least ostentatious, most off-kilter will do. And so, if you find yourself unable to put your finger on just what you're hearing, it is because BRNDA is not just some rehashed comfort listening. Couple the music with the world-wary, at-times indecipherable lyrical meaning of the vocalists (they all sing), and you might begin to doubt yourself...but you might also enjoy it. This is exactly how BRNDA wants you to feel.

Band Members