The Main Street Brats were an exciting 3 piece live band on the Brisbane Scene from 2009-2012. They had a really raw and stripped back style, playing bluesy rock n' roll full of punk attitude, with hooks in all the right places. Hannah J Tilbrook and Reuben Ham both sing lead vocals and play guitar. Playing off each other and backing each other up often creating moments of magic together. Both their playing is very strummy with Hannah playing a few more bluesy licks but they both have a really great sense of rhythm and with no bass player there is a little more space than most bands in this style but they fill that space with great rhythm and a screaming guitar sound. Andrew Thompson's drumming was often very fast paced live so I was pleased to see him reel it in just a little bit in the studio to really bring out the swing in these songs. They milk it for all it's worth.
The interesting thing about the Mainstreet Brats is that they aren't trying to reinvent the wheel and they wear their influences on their sleeves: New York Dolls, The Runaways, Cheap Trick, The Replacements and the Exploding Hearts. Yet they still manage to pull it off with their own style because the delivery is real and full of conviction. And even though they were a band with a clear focus in style and direction they weren't closed off musically and listened to a diverse range of music. This comes through in their ability to hear melody in a basic chord structure and find a way to bring that melody bubbling to the surface like a well poured beer. That pretty much sums the Brats up, They're like a well poured beer. You know what to expect, but it's still refreshing and does not disappoint.
Some of the stand out songs to me are “18 hours,” which is almost the distinctive Brats song. “Corrupter,” and “Movie Show” are just as good and keep this vibe up. “One Step From The Move” slows things down a bit (but not to much) and shows you these guys have got a grasp on contrast. “Drinking in a Lane way” is probably my favourite song on here with great melodic leads and vocals from Hannah filled with images of drunken nights in the Valley. “She's a Whore,” an obvious nod to the Cheap Trick song “He's a Whore,” is a cheeky, melodic and fun song about a girl who wants more. In the short time these guys were around they played gigs with X, The Hard Ons, Kim Salmon, The Meanies, SixFtHick, Hits and established themselves in the scene as a great Rock n'Roll Band.
After The Brats Split Hannah put out 2 Acoustic E.P's Possessions and Perceptions under the name Hanny J. Both these releases are extremely honest and more personal.
But we'll leave that for another day.
In short if your a fan of kick ass rock n' roll that's catchy raw and messy.
Check out the Mainstreet Brats