Bass Drum of Death's 2011 debut full-length album, GB City, is a brilliantly boneheaded mix of lo-fi, driving garage rock. Recorded by singer/guitarist/bassist/drummer John Barrett, GB City builds upon the band's buzzworthy 2008 EP Stain Stick Skin by delivering even more catchy, glitter-garage tracks that seem to combine the '50s punk of the Ramones with the hyper-snarl of Bad Brains. In that sense, the band will certainly draw favorable comparisons to such similarly minded contemporaries as the Black Keys and Cheap Time. This stuff is seriously fuzzed-out and overdriven, both sonically and tempo-wise. In fact, most of the time, Barrett rips through the tracks sounding something like T. Rex's Marc Bolan hopped up on Red Bull, triple espresso, and Pez with only the weed to slow him down. Ultimately, with tracks like the bombastic "Nerve Jamming," the Stooges-esque "Heart Attack Kid," and the insistent, malevolently bluesy "Get Found," Bass Drum of Death have put together a proto-punk album for the digital age where you could swear you heard the tape hissing out of your blown laptop speakers.
Share this page
AllMusic Review by Matt Collar