Tag Archives: BRAIN BAGZ

Worst Horse — Self-Titled

Worst Horse



Released : 4/05/2020

Worst Horse, aka Margot Apricot, is an artist who boasts many talents. These are found, but not limited through their unique screen printed designs, paintings and of course through their music. Formerly Apricot was known for performing in the multi-genre’d Lube and the noise-punk outfit Brain Bagz. Now, under the name Worst Horse, they have released the first album from their solo work. Consequently this is also the album name. The overwhelming feeling that Worst Horse betrays is a demand of being unforgivingly introspective. It  blends notions of haunted isolation with a kind simplicity, but unique 1980’s electronic vibrancy.

Lyrically, Worst Horse sings about themes of hurt with a kind poetic disassociation.  Musically, it’s twisting styles of electro-art-punk with obsessive droning and a  definitive beat. This is of course a courtesy of the hollowness of a drum machine. It is particularly evident when listening to tracks like “Cleansing Breath” or “Past Needles.”

Other notable tracks such as “Left A Mark” carry with the sermonizing style of beat poetry. In this song, Worst Horse speaks about sobering reflections of a life of struggle and pain.Combined with the electronic noise reminiscent of a Blade Runner like film score, the song has an overwhelming, yet alien feel. It’s short and sweet, but quite sobering.

In Worst Horse,  there are also notable covers from artists such as Rabbit’s “Calcifer” and The Bee Gee’s “How Deep Is Your love.” In their own way Worst Horse pays a ultimate homage to these artists. They uniquely perform these songs with a certain delight. With “Calcifer,” the original captures the essence of playful indie-folk with impunity. Worst Horse’s version is heavy with a sorrowful orchestral flair.

The original version of the Bee Gee’s “How Deep Is Your Love” is among the iconic songs of the 1970’s disco era. It’s a song that is moderately upbeat, cheesy and meant for the dance floor of  a Saturday night boogie. When Worst Horse performs this song, the trajectory is different, but with some striking similarities. 

For this cover, Worst Horse evokes a style that is different. It celebrates the primitive sensibilities with the numbing sensations of disco twisting into a new wave-like flair. Although this cover has a kind of melancholy  about it,  Apricot still knocks this number out.  That being said, if listeners want to rave on with “How Deep Is Your Love” the assistance of substances for this gothic-esque cover might allow for some slow grooving fun.

The album as a whole is a trip. It’s got the psychedelic notions that with under the right conditions will evoke a out of mind experience.  Songs like “Let The Pain In” carry on the introspective nature that defines this work. It’s mellow, but subtly provoking. This is the same with the track “House of Bees.” Though in contrast, this song has more of the dissociated feel that is also found in Worst Horse.

When listening to Worst Horst the result is like being taken on quite the dynamic trip. This should not be a surprise given the caliber of the Worst Horse’s artistic ability. As seen with their body of work, it blazes past any limitations.   

However, with this release, one may tread with some caution. This album may take a special if not sobering frame of mind to digest. One should be ready to let go of their inhabitations and be ready for songs that beg one to look deep into their soul. If that soul is troubled then this album may hit home in the most profound ways.

The Devils – Iron Butt

The Devils
Iron Butt
Voodoo Rhythm
Street: 12.15.17
The Devils = Das Clamps + Brain Bagz + Guitar Wolf

The Devils embody the definitive sound of desolation and chaos. Theirs is a style that is nothing short of a symphony meant for utter human annihilation. Their new album is called Iron Butt, and there’s plenty of sex, sin and rock n’ roll. Charming name aside, the absolute primitive noise within these grooves reveal nothing less than a nod toward a sure mental collapse. This is thanks to a chainsaw massacre guitar, death-stomping drum beats and blood-curtailing vocals. For the unaware, The Devils are from Naples, Italy, and they descend from blues-driven, wall-of-fuzz punk rock madness and Ken Russell’s 1971 B-movie of the same name. Think of them as the face-melting garage punk demon offspring of The Cramps’ incestuous relations with The Gories.

Dig the full album review published by SLUG Magazine!!


Top 5 Albums of 2017

Every year I come out with a little list of my top albums that have been released throughout the year. During the highs and lows of 2017 I found myself constantly listening to these gems. It’s a healthy mix or power pop, garage rock and everything in-between. All articles were published by SLUG Magazine, Heatwave Magazine or exclusively here at nixbeat.com. Enjoy and happy new year!

  1. Suicide Helpline – Pink Jazz
  2. Fashionism – Back in the Day/ One Shot 7″
  3. The Jackets – Be Myself/ Queen of the Pill 7″
  4. The Woolly Bushmen – Ardunio 
  5. Mattiel- Count Your Blessings/ Whites Of Their Eyes 7″

Honorary Top 5 runner ups

  1. Jessica Hernandez & The Deltas-  Telephone/Teléfono
  2. Radio Hearts – Daytime Man EP
  3. The Schizophonics -Ooga Booga 
  4. The Darts US – Me.Ow
  5. Brain Bagz –  God Hates Bagz 7″ 


Sex Tape Records
Street: 05.27
BRAIN BAGZ = Dead Boys +The Stooges + Die Group

Salt Lake’s BRAIN BAGZ have never failed to deliver a sound that absolutely devastates. Within these grooves, there is a highly volatile mix of rockabilly and late ‘70s punk infused with urban-decay-meets-fuzzed-out-psychedelic sensibilities. Those not yet familiar with BRAIN BAGZ are in for a real treat with God Hates BAGZ. This record presents the original lineup with Mikey Blackhurst (guitar, vocals), Kristin Maloney, (bass), Elisar Soueidi (drums) and Max Wilson (sax). This was Wilson’s last recording with BRAIN BAGZ before he departed in November. It was recorded by Die Group’s own Eric BigArm’s studio in L.A.

Read the full album review, published by SLUG Magazine!!


(L–R) Jeremy Devine, Elisar Soueidi, Mikey Blackhurst and Kristin Maloney. Photo: JoSavagePhotography.com

Out of the ashes of Swamp Ravens are a force to be reckoned with: Brain Bagz. They are Mikey Blackhurst on vox/guitar, Kristin Maloney on bass, Elisar Soueidi also on guitar (formerly on drums) and new member Jeremy Devine on drums. “Swamp Ravens fizzled out, and me and Kristin wanted to start something fresh,” says Blackhurst. Soon after getting together, Max Wilson also joined their ranks on the saxophone, keyboard and guitar. Wilson worked at the same smoke shop as Maloney and Soueidi. He expressed interest in Brain Bagz and asked if he could visit their practice session and make some noise with his saxophone. Wilson soon became a staple in the band. Blackhurst says, “He was just our guy. He could play saxophone, guitar, keyboards—anything else we could have given him, he would have played.”

Dig the full article published by SLUG Magazine!!

Beware! Here comes the Brain Bagz

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Left to right (Max Wilson, Kristen Maloney, Mikey Blackhurst, Elisar Soueidi)

If one has not paid witness to the fury that is Brain Bagz, they are most certainly missing out. Their style blends a mix of influences and dare say, goes beyond the boundaries of any generic label. Brain Bagz consist of Mikey Blackhurst, Kristen Maloney, Elisar Soueidi and Max Wislon. They formed in early 2015 out of the ashes of garage punk band, Swamp Ravens—a band that Maloney and Blackhurst had started a couple years prior. Swamp Ravens played various Salt Lake clubs and could regularly be seen at Diabolical Records. Though they played host to many different lineups and they were always a presence to be considered— and it was a surprise to many when they finally folded. “{Swamp Ravens} just fizzled out,” says Blackhurst. “It was kind of unfocused.” Maloney adds, “…We went through so many band members…every time we get a new member, we would write all the songs—in my opinion it got better every time—and finally after the last breakup we had Jared Soper and Courtney Holman in the band. I loved the set up, we made some great music—they’re good musicians—but once they were out of the band we were like ‘k this project this project’s done.’ ”

The absence of Swamp Ravens was a notable loss in the Salt Lake music scene, however Blackhurst and Maloney were determined to start something new and fresh. In perhaps perfect timing for the Quintron and Miss Pussycat gig on June 03,2015, Brain Bagz had come out of the woodwork with a new line up and sound. Brain Bagz’s boasted a diverse inspiration that varied from rockabilly, blues, weird punk and even modern culture. “Everyone in this band listens to different stuff,” says Blackhurst. “We’re all familiar with blues, soul, funk and jazz.” With such a wide and deep appreciation for music and culture it can be rather difficult to pin them down to a genre. But that’s not a concern for Brain Bagz as they do not feel the need to be limited and that is something that shows through their music and even defines their reason for playing.

For Brain Bagz, their motive for playing is based purely on the need to make music rather than make money. Maloney says, “I’d say with Brain Bagz, we’ve had people who really care about it, whereas with Swamp Ravens we had some people who kinda care.” Brain Bagz has been subject to some line-up changes, though, not as drastic as with Swamp Ravens. Since the Quintron and Miss Pussycat show, Brain Bagz lost their drummer and synth player—a departure it is stressed that was on good terms—but in the switch up, gained the talents of Soueidi and Wilson. Speaking of their new members Blackurst says, “Now we have people that are fucking into it, who fucking care about it.” Brain Bagz current line-up act very much like a family. “I like that we pick people over they’re musical abilities. We knew Elisar could play guitar, could play bass, she was a fantastic musician {who} didn’t know shit about drums when she joined the band, and we’re like we don’t care. We know you can play and we’re not a real technical band,” says Maloney. “We just want to play rock n’ roll.”

Maloney and Blackhurst’s appreciation for all things rock n’roll is a passion that translates into all aspects of life. It is a love that has found them attending Goner Fest in Memphis, Tennessee two years in a row and somehow they have managed to survive with their livers intact. With certain excitement Maloney says,“It’s overwhelming in the best way possible, because you’re watching the best bands from 1AM to 4 AM and you’re at the bar the whole time.” This pilgrimage to Goner Fest has also contributed to an already budding awakening toward a more global rock n’ roll community. This more global outlook is felt to be largely lost in Salt Lake City. The reason according to Maloney is largely due to bands skipping over Salt Lake in favor of the touring the west coast with the result being the loss of said bands cultural influence on the local scene— however, according to Maloney that too is beginning to change. Brain Bagz cite Diabolical Records as the place that has greatly contributed to expanding and diversifying Salt Lake’s music scene and it is a shop/venue that Brain Bagz has played often.

It is at Diabolical that the members of Brain Bagz have been able to connect with the music community, both local and worldwide. With the emergence of a flourishing scene and with their experiences at Goner Fest,both Maloney and Blackhurst are inspired to take their music to new heights. Maloney speaking of her inspiration says, “Seeing these bands, meeting these bands, like we need to get our shit together. We need to get back on top of it…and to get out of Salt Lake.” Riding this wave of enthusiasm, Brain Bagz have hit the Salt Lake circuit hard in the last couple of months. They have played with the likes of GO!Zilla, Cool Ghouls, Rich Girlz,Salt Lake Spitfires, Blood Purge, Handiecapitalist and Lysol (Seattle). Their ambition is, however, set higher and they are set to bust out of Salt Lake City in March/April of 2016 for a west coast tour. If you’re smart you’ll check them out as they plan to infect:

March 26th Boise TBA,
March 27th Seattle TBA,
March 28th Portland @ The Know,
March 29th Sacramento TBA,
March 30th SF @ Hemlock Tavern,
March 31st Oak TBA,
April 1st LA @ Nela’s,
April 2nd LA @ Permanent Records,
3rd Las Vegas @ TBA

Dig Brain Bagz’s Bandcamp and their Facebook page for all things Brain Bagz!!


The stage setup for Quintron and Miss Pussycat was almost as wild as their energetic performance. Photo: Tony Campbell

Due to an overeager anxiousness for tonight’s gig—and with nowhere else to go— I arrive way too early at Urban Lounge. Inside, the venue is largely empty with the exception of Quintron and Miss Pussycat getting their various props organized onstage. Grabbing a table and pint, I observe the casual flow of rock n’ roller types as they file in. Almost like a foreboding warning, the power goes out and then slowly comes back on. With power restored, the Brian Bagz begins to set up. As vocalist Mikey Blackhurst tests his sound, I manage to (finally) score a copy of the We are Nots LP from the Nots. Doing my best not to nerd out and with LP in hand, I am now ready for this night’s festivities to kick off.

Read the entire story @ SLUG Mag!!