Despite forming sometime after the scene-starting Ramones concerts at the New Yorker Theatre in September 1976, and playing at the farewell Last Pogo shows two years later, Toronto's Cardboard Brains were curiously excised from Liz Worth's excellent book, Treat Me Like Dirt. Fronted by vocalist John Paul Young, and with guitarist Vincent Carlucci, bass player Paul O'Connell and drummer Richard Miller taking up the rear, the band were fixtures on the Toronto circuit, issuing this four-song EP while much of the Toronto scene was still in its infancy.
The Brains often melded prog elements into their punk antics, but on Cardboard Brains 77 the band sticks more to the basics, with a sloppy version of the Monkees' '(I'm Not Your) Steppin' Stone' that beats out the Pistols' version by a few years, as well as more perfunctory numbers like the plodding 'Can Stress Kill?' and 'Living Inside My Head'. The highlight, though, has got to be the scathing 'I Wanna Be a Yank', where the witty Young skewers both sides of the border with his angry scowl and clever lines like "The kids are r-r-rotting at U of T / Just to work for the U.I.C.", with Rs rolled to acerbic perfection. -From canuckistanmusic.com