"Welcome to the yassification of metal": Brat have officially brought ‘Barbiegrind’ to the metal scene with a promising if imperfect debut

BRAT have the right look to fit in with the likes of Scene Queen and Sophie Powers, but their straight-ahead deathgrind fails to make the same impact

Brat 2024
(Image: © Greta Gerstner)

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Welcome to the yassification of metal. From Scene Queen’s provocative bimbocore to the nu metallic girly pop of Rain Paris, there’s currently a crop of up’n’comers trading heavy music’s black for pink, its machismo for sexual liberation. Brat claim a place in this movement – but whether their ‘barbiegrind’ earns them a seat at the table remains to be seen. 

At first glance, the New Orleans deathgrind darlings look like they’d fit right in. Promo pics show the quartet, led by singer Liz Selfish, glaring in front of neon mansions and enjoying a spot of tea in a rose garden. They sell t-shirts referencing Mean Girls (guess what colour they are) and have previously sampled Britney Spears. So far, so fetch. 

However, while the names leading this next generation frequently thread that vibrant femininity into their music, Social Grace doesn’t. Pull away the shots of the band and the brightly coloured logo on the cover, and what’s left is 10 songs of no-frills deathgrind. 

Admittedly, as a no-frills deathgrind album, this debut is a sturdy one. Opener Ego Death’s braking from lightspeed force to groovy riffing hammers back to Harmony Corruption-era Napalm Death

Then Hesitation Wound barrages with chords and pinch harmonics, before Rope Drag’s rumbling tremolo feels worthy of a place on any Tampa death metal record. Beatdowns and roars abound throughout these 10 tracks, each with the potential to incite a hardy basement mosh. 

The question just remains of Brat’s intentions with all this. Is it a cynical leap onto the femme-metal bandwagon, or rather a legitimate attempt to join a wave broadening heavy music’s audience and messaging? 

If it’s the latter, just playing tried’n’true deathgrind while picking out a pink wardrobe likely won’t be enough. The band need to gain a bit more personality if they’re going to get on the same hot (pink) ticket as the likes of Scene Queen and Sophie Powers.

Social Grace is out now via Prosthetic. 

Matt Mills
Contributing Editor, Metal Hammer

Louder’s resident Gojira obsessive was still at uni when he joined the team in 2017. Since then, Matt’s become a regular in Prog and Metal Hammer, at his happiest when interviewing the most forward-thinking artists heavy music can muster. He’s got bylines in The Guardian, The Telegraph, NME, Guitar and many others, too. When he’s not writing, you’ll probably find him skydiving, scuba diving or coasteering.