The brainchild of young Polish instrumentalist and studio whiz Rafal Zak, Ordinary Brainwash is a one-man band with both feet planted firmly in modern prog territory. Its cover art hurts your eyes, but Me 2.0 is a thoroughly absorbing exercise in dour and dark rock. Zak’s somewhat morose worldview is made manifest via walls of surging guitar, sombre melodies and occasional detours into subtly experimental waters reminiscent of Steven Wilson’s recent solo work.
A few moments make it rather too obvious what Zak has been listening to recently, not least the Porcupine Tree-isms of opener Outdated, but the album’s finest moments reveal a highly individual creative voice gleaming with potential.
The rambling Unbirthday is the best of the lot. It’s almost comically bleak, with seamless transitions between thumping dark rock and lithe, percussive freewheeling; its numerous subtle embellishments also heighten the song’s gloomy impact.
Don’t Look Back uses ominous piano and strings to great melodramatic effect, while the grimly resigned Homesick would make the perfect soundtrack to your next long dark night of the soul.