Sjef Oellers 24-Feb-2001 overall

Excellent German jazz rock band. On their debut Smile a While, clever and complex compositions are played with great ease. Here they seemed to be equally influenced by Soft Machine and Frank Zappa (his late 60's instrumental work). Brainstorm's music is mostly instrumental, but there are some silly vocalizings that remind me of the Mothers of Invention or Gong. On their second album, Second Smile, they try to diversify their sound a bit. The Soft Machine references become a bit less obvious and their sound is similar to the Dutch band Supersister. On the second track they even play in a folky style with acoustic guitar and flute, but the percussion gives the whole track a latin feel. The silly vocals of the first album have disappeared for a more conventional vocal style, but the music still is almost completely instrumental. Both albums are indispensable if you like jazz rock/fusion, Canterbury or instrumental Zappa.

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