Bass Drum of Death
GB CITY, 180G Black Vinyl LP
Earlier this month, the two men of Bass Drum of Death stopped by the Fuel TV studios in L.A. to shoot a pair of performances. One of those tapings made its way to every corner of the nerdisphere within the 24 hours that followed, while the other more or less disappeared into the void that is the Internet. Though their run through GB City jam "Get Found" was perfectly pugnacious, the other stint was backing exactly the kind of guys you want to back if web exposure's what you want right now: Odd Future bash bros and Fat Possum labelmates MellowHype.
Overall, it was a relatively staid, unorthodox showing on Bass Drum's part. While Hodgy Beats and Left Brain shared all sorts of voodoo, Colin (first names only) kept time and John kept his eyes glued to his guitar, hair completely obscuring his face, never to be flipped or tossed. That spooky riff he burrowed into was just right, though. While the attention was clearly drawn to their one-time, insanely magnetic bandmates, Bass Drum of Death find themselves blending into an increasingly crowded field of neo-classicist rock bands specializing in fuzzy assault. Their own label even released a few of their more immediate forebears.
One is Wavves' Nathan Williams, whose initial mixture of blown-out grunge nods and 1960s doo-wop melodies became the first in a slew of young, beach-obsessed artists hiding similar vocal hooks and rhythms in swamps of pedal-driven effects. But Bass Drum of Death's smashmouth approach also saddles them with easy comparisons to an even larger group of garage-rock kin. While they do dabble with the same arsenal of ooooohs and aaaaahs, ooooweeooooh's and shooby doo's that Williams has, this Oxford, Mississippi, duo sounds far more effective when whipping up an evil frenzy much like those of Ty Segall. These guys don't showcase a similarly thorough ear for songwriting, but as far as rock'n'roll feats of strength go, GB City, their debut, registers quickly. -Pitchfork