3RA1N1AC'S SMACK BUNNY BABY REISSUED ON VINYL FOR ITS 30TH ANNIVERSARY

Craft Recordings celebrates the legacy of influential indie band 3RA1N1AC (Brainiac), with a 30th anniversary reissue of their long-out-of-print debut, Smack Bunny Baby. Marking the album’s first wide availability on vinyl since 1993, this newly remastered edition includes such cult favorites as “I, Fuzzbot,” “Ride,” “Martian Dance Invasion” and “Smack Bunny Baby.” Arriving December 1 and available for pre-order today, the LP can be found on black vinyl, as well as two limited-edition colorways: Violet (available exclusively at participating independent record stores) and Emerald Green (via CraftRecordings.com). Smack Bunny Baby will also make its debut in HD digital, while track “Velveteen Freak Scene” (originally a vinyl-only bonus track) will be available on streaming platforms for the very first time.

 

While their time together was cut short by tragedy after just five years, Dayton, OH’s 3RA1N1AC (Brainiac) was one of the most influential and inspired indie acts of the ’90s. Formed in early 1992 by singer/keyboardist/guitarist Timmy Taylor, bassist Juan Monasterio, guitarist Michelle Bodine, and drummer Tyler Trent, the band quickly carved out a spot for themselves in the city’s rich underground scene, which also counted The Breeders and Guided by Voices among its members.

 

After releasing their first official single, “Superduperseven,” in the fall of 1992, the band signed to Grass Records and soon paired up with Girls Against Boys’ Eli Janney (currently known for his work in Late Night with Seth Meyers’ 8G Band) to produce their debut. What transpired was Smack Bunny Baby: a rambunctious and quirky collection of songs that straddled punk, noise rock, and new wave—complete with a retro twist, thanks to Taylor’s nimble work on the Moog synthesizer.

 

Clocking in at just over 35 minutes, the album takes listeners on a delightfully manic journey: beginning with the grungy, hooky opener, “I, Fuzzbot.” Throughout, the band marries blistering guitar riffs with electronic blips, while in songs like “Draag” and “Ride,” Taylor’s cathartic voice is intertwined seamlessly with the notes on his synth. Lyrically, Brainiac delivers plenty of Gen-X angst and paranoia—often with a side of surrealism, including in tracks like “Cultural Zero,” the frenetic title track and the zany “Martian Dance Invasion,” which features Bodine on vocals.

 

Released in July 1993, Smack Bunny Baby introduced Brainiac to the world—much to the thrill of fans and the press alike. Comparing Brainiac to the likes of Sonic Youth and Pixies, SPIN called the album “a noisy little devil that benefits greatly from a fondness for Moog synth and a good ear for…melody.” AllMusic hailed it as “Pure punk exuberance,” while Trouser Press praised “The group’s arty approach” and “menacing playfulness,” adding, “The best tracks…cleverly deconstruct early new wave, using what the band likes, discarding the rest and adding its own innovative ideas to the process.”

 

Over the next five years, the band continued to evolve sonically, moving further into electro-punk territory with the acclaimed albums Bonsai Superstar (1994) and H1551NG PR1G5 1N 5TAT1C COUTUR3 (Hissing Prigs in Static Couture) (1996), as well as their 1995 EP, Internationale (produced by the Pixies’ Kim Deal). Brainiac also built a following with their electrifying live shows, including an appearance at 1995’s Lollapalooza and supporting slots with acts like The Breeders, Beck, and The Jesus Lizard. By 1997, the band was primed for new heights as they released the EP Electro-Shock for President and began work on their fourth album (and major label debut). But tragedy struck that May when Taylor was killed in a car accident, months shy of his 29th birthday. In the wake of his death, the surviving members of Brainiac disbanded.

 

The band’s legacy, however, has continued to reverberate. Numerous outlets have recognized Brainiac’s importance, including the NME, which called them “One of the most brain-bustingly unique [bands] the rock underground has ever seen,” while countless artists – including Trent Reznor (Nine Inch Nails), Chris Walla (Death Cab for Cutie), Wayne Coyne (Flaming Lips), Matt Bellamy (Muse), and The Mars Volta – have cited the band as an influence. In 2019, the group was profiled in the documentary Transmission After Zero, which featured commentary from such stars as The National’s Matt Berninger, Melissa Auf der Maur (Hole), actor/musician Fred Armisen, and producer Steve Albini (Nirvana, PJ Harvey), who briefly worked with the band.

 

At the top of this year, Tyler Trent, Juan Monasterio and John Schmersal (who replaced Michelle Bodine in late 1993) reunited for live dates in the US and UK, and released The Predator Nominate  – a collection of never-before-heard 1997 demos, which offered fans a taste of their unreleased fourth album. This coming February, meanwhile, the band will return to stages across the US. Visit the band’s official site for tickets and more info.

 

 

 

 

Smack Bunny Baby Tracklist (Vinyl)

Side A

  1. I, Fuzzbot
  2. Ride
  3. Smack Bunny Baby
  4. Martian Dance Invasion
  5. Cultural Zero
  6. Brat Girl

 

Side B

  1. Hurting Me
  2. I Could Own You
  3. Anesthetize
  4. Draag
  5. Get Away
  6. Velveteen Freak Scene

 

Smack Bunny Baby Tracklist (Digital)

  1. I, Fuzzbot
  2. Ride
  3. Smack Bunny Baby
  4. Martian Dance Invasion
  5. Cultural Zero
  6. Brat Girl
  7. Hurting Me
  8. I Could Own You
  9. Anesthetize
  10. Draag
  11. Get Away
  12. Velveteen Freak Scene

← Older Post Newer Post →

News

RSS
Fania Fania Records

FANIA ALL STARS’ LONG-OUT-OF-PRINT CLASSIC LATIN–SOUL–ROCK RETURNS TO VINYL FOR 50TH ANNIVERSARY

On August 24, 1973, 40,000 salsa fans (a record-breaking crowd at the time for a Latin music event) eagerly piled into New York’s Yankee Stadium...

Read more

CREED’S MULTI-PLATINUM-SELLING GREATEST HITS MAKES ITS WIDE DEBUT ON VINYL

As CREED readies to embark on their first headlining shows in over a decade, Craft Recordings celebrates the recently reunited band and their enduring catalog...

Read more