The 13 Best St. Louis Noise/Experimental Bands in 2013

Categories: Best Of

Brain Transplant

Another amorphous collective of sound, art and noise, Brain Transplant tends to explore the harsher side of things. In the late '90s and early '00s, founding member Chris Smentowski was responsible for bringing some of America's most prominent noise acts to St. Louis. His influence not only helped inspire other local promoters to book experimental shows of their own, but his work in Brain Transplant has no doubt inspired many to follow the path of noise. Many people in this city discovered the genre because of Brain Transplant.

The seminal Dave Stone frequently lends his squealing saxophone to the group. Core member Ajay Khanna even writes programs that users can install on tablets, computers and smartphones and use to make a little noise of their own. These apps and other media, including live video and audio, can be found through the band's website. Brain Transplant is certainly the most influential noise band in St. Louis, and definitely one of the best.

See also: Best Noise Band - 2003 Brain Transplant

Mabel Suen


Known mostly for its industrial blend of post-rock amid dark and daunting texture, Britches often revels in the ambient space between songs. At any given show, the band could decide to pitch a tent and play atonal noise for twenty minutes, secluded from its audience. But that's part of the deal with Britches, and it's part of the fun. Britches is schizophrenic and pulls no punches in doing the exact opposite of what's expected.

Guitarist Marty Reuter plays his pedals more often than his instrument. Drummer Andrew Carter makes use of subtle electronics while bassist Bryant Hoban screams through a telephone microphone. The rhythms are heavy but roomy, allowing for Reuter's whitewashed guitar sound to come through, punctuated by thick bass chords. Since 2009 Britches has toured several times through the Midwest and East Coast. To date, Britches has released two compact discs and one cassette, the latter of which randomly plays in reverse on some cars' tape decks.

See also: Homespun: Britches

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