Bass Drum of Death - GB City (Cover Artwork)

Bass Drum of Death

GB City (2011)

Fat Possum Records

The two-piece band from Oxford, Miss. known as Bass Drum of Death consists of John Barrett on guitar and Colin Sneed on drums. Bass Drum delivers an album that is carelessly fun, bratty and tributary to punk's pre-historic roots. They have that primitive, buzzsaw sound of the late '60s and early '70s reminiscent of Johnny Thunders, MC5 and the Stooges, all the while maintaining a 21st century garage rock feel. So why am I making a big deal of something that has been done before? Because the music is alive. Upon listening to Bass Drum of Death for the first time, I wasn't thinking "Wow, I could really get into this." In fact I wasn't thinking much at all. I was too busy jumping around the room with the volume cranked up to even notice.

Their debut record, GB City, is a half-hour droned-out yet strangely energetic trip down memory lane. While rowdy numbers like "Nerve Jamming," "GB City" and "High School Roaches" leave you feeling like you need to dive into a crowded frenzy of bodies with their high energy riffs, songs like "Leaves," "Get Found" and "Velvet Itch" show off Bass Drum's gritty rock 'n' roll prowess that'll beg for multiple replays. "I Can Never Be Your Man," "Religious Girls" and "Spare Room" seem out of focus and sluggish. They just kind of drag you through the dirt but they do it in a way that their boredom actually sounds interesting. The songs certainly follow their respective trends however each track represents individual uniqueness rather than repetitive patterns.

I have high hopes for Bass Drum of Death. This proto-garage-punk rock 'n' roll band gives an exciting twist to a retro style; the album is proof that the past is not lost on us. I really enjoy how the band manages to capture that raw energy vibe using a minimalist approach. With an apathetic attitude and catchy tunes to boot, GB City will be sure to get you off your ass and on your feet.