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Bass Drum of Death, ‘Bass Drum of Death’ – Album Review

The first sound you hear on Bass Drum of Death’s sophomore self-titled release is not a bass drum, but a pounded snare and a false-start of guitar before the Mississippi-bred duo explode into their brash, flexing garage rock.

The song’s title, ‘I Wanna Be Forgotten,’ suggests Kanye West’s “I don’t give a f—” mentality, and it plays well for Bass Drum of Death, who are an increasingly established act in a crowded field of blown-out, beer-stained, tinnitus-inducing rock ‘n’ roll. They’re making a strong case for why they shouldn’t be forgotten about.

‘Bass Drum of Death’ contains the most well crafted, melodically sturdy work of their still-blooming career. ‘Shattered Me’ evokes associated act Wavves in the song’s structure, but it draws influence from some of the more timeless voices of punk, and in turn, it feels universally appealing — a kinetic energy source.

Elsewhere, ‘No Demons’ struts across the room with its middle finger pointed at everyone, all attitude, no apologies. These songs are possible because of Bass Drum of Death’s humble beginnings as a one-man band. John Barrett appears to have been toughened up by the process of producing music both fun and fierce all by himself for years. Now with the pressure relieved, the project is even stronger, and songs like ‘Bad Reputation’ and ‘White Fright’ leave nothing to the imagination and allow the players to unleash all of their angst.

A couple years back, Bass Drum of Death seemingly came out of nowhere to back Mellowhype on national television. But ‘Bass Drum of Death’ makes it clear this is not a TV or scene-y band. They’re coming from a similar place as Ty Segall and aren’t pandering, even when it would be so easy to. It’s a sharp bruiser of an album, and it asks only that listeners embrace the danger for its short duration. It’s hard to say no.

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