Melbourne’s Electric Brain is a bona fide Mecca for devotees of retro counterculture, punk and Rockabilly sensibilities, zine-scene comic book corruption and all-round odd-ball conduct. And by all accounts a bloody good place to mosey on down for a wig-trim. Summer Bousaab’s Fitzroy North barbershop is a frantic, motley collection of museum-worthy memorabilia with unruliness at its core: Garbage Pail Kids, crass comic books, ’80s B-movie posters, vintage mugshots, Rat Fink… Electric Brain celebrates the inner-rogue, revels in the outlaw mindset.
Paying homage to the golden age of the barber, Bousaab’s carefully curated miscellanea resides alongside all the necessary kosher barbershop products required for the classic pompadour – no stone has been left unturned in the pursuit of harnessing authenticity. Delving into retro’s murky waters oft results in a look and feel that smacks of try-hard, a lack of wholeheartedly committing to an overall aesthetic leaves so many spaces wanting, nay, pitiful. Summer’s little corner of playful rebellion finds itself far, far away from falling afoul of such lack of commitment – Electric Brain has jumped in at the deep-end, and is swimming without armbands. Just brilliant.