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Non-Prog CD Reviews

Brain Surgeons


Review by Gary Hill

Brain Surgeons is former BOC member Albert Bouchard`s band. The group utilizes elements of Blue Oyster Cult in new and unusual ways. Brain Surgeons (Bouchard, Deborah Frost, Billy Hilfiger (brother of clothing designer Tommy Hilfiger), Peter Bohovesky and David Hirshberg) are joined on this album by several guests.

This review is available in book format (hardcover and paperback) in Music Street Journal: The Early Years Volume 4 at

Track by Track Review
Needle Gun
A spoken word snippet that makes reference to an old BOC track starts this cut, a performance of a song originally done by Hawkwind. The chorus to this number is based on a raspy, nearly whispered female voice. This is a very solid rendition of a space rock classic that pays tribute to the piece, while breathing new life into it. The choice of covering Hawkwind tracks seems fairly natural, since there has historically been a Hawkwind/Blue Oyster Cult connection in fandom for years. In fact, one of the earliest fan based music websites in existence was one that combined those two bands.
Ciudades Y Navidades
A variant on Cities on Flame, BOC`s first official single, this cut combines many interesting variations into the piece. Among those twists are Spanish language vocals interspersed with English and a Christmas orientation. In fact, the ending segments of the number include a "Feliz Navidad" (Merry Christmas) section, complete with sleigh bells. It is quite obvious that the band had fun with this one.
Hassan I Sabbah
Another classic Hawkwind track, Hassan, or Assassins of Allah (as it is sometimes called) is a well performed, hard rocking, space rock piece. This is a very intriguing rendition, and comes across quite powerfully.
Career of Evil
A very solid rendition of a Cult classic, this is a hard rock number. The vocals are quite faithful to the original, while being augmented by a rough-edged female vocal section. This makes for an intriguing variant, while still staying quite true to the original texture of the piece.
Language of Love
Based heavily on acoustic guitar, this tune is a very pretty ballad with BOC influences.
The Girl That Made Love Blind
Another Christmas oriented track, this ballad features solid guitar work (at times Howeish) and a competent arrangement.
Death Valley Nights
Another song originally performed by BOC, this is a very pretty track based on acoustic guitar.
Name Your Monster
This cut is rather off kilter in texture, but quite pretty at the same time. The overall feel to the song is of older BOC balladic/rock work. There are some solidly progish elements here, most notably in the instrumental break. The chorus is quite catchy. Later segments of the piece take on a loose jazzish tone and feature adlib humorous spoken word segments.
Baby Ice Dog
A strong rock and roller, this one features a BOCish song structure and guitar work with almost punkish female vocals.
Tour Spiel
Again featuring strong BOC leanings, this is a metallic number.
I Am The One You Warned Me Of
Originally on the BOC album Imaginos, this is a strong rendition, based heavily on acoustic guitar. This melodic rocker takes on bluesish textures at times.
The rendition here is a very pretty and intricate take on a BOC classic. The work is quite progish. This rendition is more acoustically based, and perhaps more melodic than the original. The overall result is quite effective.
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