Released December 2nd under his own label ‘Suffer For My Art’, Steven Battelle brought us his mesmerizing debut solo album, titled ‘Exit Brain Left’. Describing his own genre as ‘elaborate’, listening to the album it definitely accurately represents his music. It’s almost a case of David Bowie meets Enter Shikari and The Beatles, three bands I never thought I’d use in the same sentence to describe a musician! The release is entirely independent, self created and self funded. Battelle spent the previous year travelling around the world, finding musical inspiration all around him. This is reflected in the album, with African style rhythms featuring in a lot of his songs, and an inspirational feeling to a lot of his vocal melodies.
The first track ‘Powers Of Denial’ set the tone for the rest of the album, developing throughout flowing like a musical wave. Powerful emotive vocals with repetitive rhythms underneath and soaring guitar lines further into the song. A Christmas Cartel stands out as being less happy go lucky, and more of a pulsing mesmerizing track developing throughout into a darker soundscape of staying true to yourself when things are hard. Lyrics ‘don’t let your soul shape shift’ repeat through the song really sending the message home.
Silent Movie Scream seems to be a slightly weaker song compared to the rest of the album and more of filler. Even so, it still features the recognisable elements the other songs do, it just isn’t as memorable. Being a 12 track album, it’s very hard to have each song stand out on its own, but Battelle has managed to come very close.
The album ends on ‘I’m Still Finding Out Who I’m Going To Be’ which rounds up and reflects the songs preceding it. Almost a self-evaluation of the songs and journey before it. The song takes a dramatic turn for the outro, possibly hinting at a theme for an album to follow..
The whole album is very easy to listen to, and features psychedelic pulsing synth lines, pop style vocals, modern alt.rock guitars and hard hitting riffs combining into an eccentric, elaborate musical fusion of absolute enjoyment. There is enough variation to keep you interested throughout, whilst each song is very easy to identify as a piece of work by Steven Battelle.