Like the quick and dirty music of his Fat Possum debut, after moving to Innovative Leisure for his sophomore outing, John Barrett continues to filter his influences through a lo-fi version of punky garage rock with Bass Drum of Death. Like looking through dirty lenses at a picture of your favorite artist, he reworks a notable U2 riff for "Bad Reputation," finds refuge in the punchy alt-rock chug of the Pixies on "Way Out," and takes a page from the jangly guitar rakings of Arthur Lee for "Such a Bore," but then speeds up or amplifies the ideas to put them in line with the skuzzy recordings of artists like Wavves and Ty Segall. At a surface level, the album seems like more of the same kind of offerings found on GB City, but with more styles covered and improved songwriting, the album is a slight step up. His skill set as a singer, vocalist, drummer, guitarist, and bassist is very impressive. However, his most notable quality is his ability to carve a catchy hook out of the raw rubble. Since the untimely passing of Jay Reatard, someone had to pick up the slack, and Barrett seems to be one of the best contenders in the game.
Share this page
AllMusic Review by Jason Lymangrover