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Bass Drum Of Death: GB City

C+

Bass Drum Of Death

Album: GB City
Label: Fat Possum

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If you claim to like rock ’n’ roll, it’s a tall order not to respond viscerally to the opening moments of “Nerve Jamming,” the first track on Bass Drum Of Death’s debut, GB City. The nerve-rattling primordial beat, the gracelessly slashing guitar, John Barrett’s insistent yowl, the surf-rock backing vocals—Bass Drum Of Death knows what garage-punk buttons to press, and the Mississippi duo isn’t shy about slamming them down repeatedly throughout GB City. Inevitably, these proven but well-worn tricks start to lose their effectiveness over the course of the album, with Bass Drum Of Death ultimately sounding like a retread of superior bands working in the sweaty trade of snarls and riffs. “Get Found” swaggers like Eagles Of Death Metal without the sense of humor, while “Spare Room” is a psychedelic blues dirge that apes The Black Keys, and the frat-rock of “Young Pros” tries to out-Harlem Harlem. Like many bands of its ilk, Bass Drum Of Death is likely best appreciated live, where the excitement of seeing a thunderously loud, amped-up group of shaggy hooligans compensates for any shortcomings in songwriting and originality. GB City falters without that infusion of energy.