Whereas Smack Bunny Baby had shown Brainiac to be a band that was still developing, Bonsai Superstar is an astounding blast of cohesive madness. The band finds its voice and vision and moves light years ahead of their peers (as well as where they had been musically only a year earlier). From the opening moments of "Hot Metal Dobermans," it is apparent that listeners are in the hands of an assured, ambitious group of musicians — including the newly arrived John Schmersal on guitar. The music is far more adventurous than on the previous album, incorporating more raw noise and sound effects, and even constructing "Fucking with the Altimeter" around a series of spoken samples. But lead singer Tim Taylor is the star of this show — his combination of a Betty Boop falsetto and an Elvis-style croon on "Flypaper" is mesmerizing, and his explosive strut through "Sexual Frustration" exudes pure star power. Bonsai Superstar captures a band that was ahead of their time and still moving forward.