There is no forewarning, there is no yellow traffic light. Only Zuul, only a car crash of fuzz, careening into future felonious behavior. If you could visit the fictional world of That ’70s Show, carry the cast to present day, and opt for a beer run ‘cross the Canadian border — Bass Drum Of Death would destroy your speakers en route.
Belonging with the dregs of society’s youth for legitimate reasons, we present Local H meets Mudhoney, with an added bonus of Oasis-level alcohol consumption…Bass Drum Of Death, in the running for “Best Band Name Ever”, should we ever plan to traverse that debate later on.
The Mississippi-based duo of John and Colin (last names mysteriously unknown) make garage rock about hedonism and head-rushes look easy, whilst incoherence in the “Louie, Louie” capacity makes its rock-and-roll roots sweat of stoned static. The aesthetic of GB City flaunts kick-ass music at the expense of lyrical clarity, but quasi-Ramones title nods like “Religious Girls” or “High School Roaches” nudge anyone nostalgic about extinct smoking pits and hazy bathroom stalls into memorial rehashing, no question.
Opening at a classic, straightforward drum roll on party tracks “Nerve Jamming” and the titular “GB City”, Bass Drum Of Death — though strangely lacking any real gut-punching bass drums, all in all — clatters in time, revels in whatever hip and dirty construct of indie revival our culture saps for awesome sauce nowadays. Bass Drum Of Death likes original rock swagger, evident as one carefully peruses the ’50s era popular rock drum pacing via “Heart Attack Kid”, meshing the early years of a then-fledgling genre with blasts of energy only Jerry Lee Lewis’ chaotic ass could’ve appreciated.
I cannot quite pin down whether or not Bass Drum Of Death will build a substantial following nationwide, or if the pair’s seemingly sincerely-inspired roots will feel shlocked to our everyday digital consumer. The subject matter is blatantly gritty (“Young Pros”, “Velvet Itch”), buried in the noise (“Leaves”); the respectfully-derivative rhythm feels authentic, antique, and oh so appropriate for a pending Record Store Day (“I Could Never Be Your Man”).
GB City might not be your cup of tea, but it could stand to help us who were around to relive the glory days of Geos and cassette decks.