Bass Drum of Death make music that’s far less ominous than their diabolic-sounding moniker suggests.
Most tracks off their first full length “GB City” mine musical territory that will be familiar to the contemporary indie rock listener and fans of such acts as Ty Segall, Nerve City, Jay Reatard, Woven Bones, or Harlem: up-tempo garage rock fuzz that occasionally strays into neo-psychedelic death drone.
While they’ve yet to make big waves in the oversaturated garage rock/lo-fi scene, their walloping vigor is sure to translate well to live performances and has the potential recruit many new fans. And it may even be an oversimplification to simply lump BDOD with other scuzzed out beach-friendly acts hailing from the musically fecund streets of Brooklyn.
From the soused out swagger of “Heart Attack Kid” to the full throttle drum-rattling aggression of album opener “Nerve City,” BDOD keeps things relatively short and punchy on their debut. “High School Roaches” is a lively bout, with a chorus that recalls the breakneck pace and rhythmic guitar riffs of DFA 1979.
That BDOD favors a rawer version of rock and roll that hearkens back to early rhythm and blues acts should come as no surprise to those familiar with other Fat Possum artists. But underneath the cacophony lie some surprisingly catchy hooks: toe-tappers like the rapid-fire “Get Found” and the incendiary “Velvet Itch” feature astringent vocals with just enough sweetness to incite a riotous audience response. What BDOD has going for them is their alacrity; BDOD plays with a ferocity that separates them from a lot of other dross peers whose foremost concern lies in cultivating an appearance de rigueur.
Check out Bass Drum of Death and Japandroids this Friday at Hemlock Tavern at 10 PM.