You might expect a band named after the Sanskrit term for “absolute reality” to be a bit, well, pretentious. But if their moniker is evocative of patchouli, long beards and even longer guitar solos, Brahman’s music remains firmly grounded.
The Tokyo-based quartet specialize in a no-nonsense blend of punk that draws on the best bits of NOFX, Lagwagon and compatriots Hi-Standard, throwing in the odd dash of emo and hard rock for good measure. They’re one of the few Japanese guitar acts to have gained much traction in European and American markets without piggybacking on anime soundtracks or high-profile hipster endorsements to get there. After a series of international tours, they gained more widespread recognition in 2005 when Revelation Records, a Californian label more commonly associated with hardcore, gave a belated U.S. release to the band’s 2001 album “A Forlorn Hope,” which sold more than 500,000 copies in Japan.