Bass Drum of Death
Say I Won’t
John Barrett’s famously skuzzy lo-fi blues jams under what may be the best band name since Suicide gets something of an upgrade with Say I Won’t. Not that it needed it—Bass Drum of Death could’ve gone on forever menacing the planet with the type of swamp soupiness and dirtball fuzztone that made Jon Spencer a spectacle and be done with it. But similar to what the new album’s producer, Patrick Carney, did with his day job as one half of The Black Keys, the sonic palate of BDoD kept the “fi” and moved the “lo” aside, put a little soul in its stagger, and cranked up still-new member guitarist/brother Jim Barrett’s amps for a louder, groovier, power-chord heavier (and, yes, bass-ier) new album.
Ultimately what the teaming of the Barretts and Carney brings about is something unique in the power trio’s (rounded out by drummer Ian Kirkpatrick) canon: the misty-mountain-metallic doom punk of “No Soul” and “Head Change” gets some glam and a funky swagger worthy of the New York Dolls, while a track such as “Find It” winds up as hearty hardcore with real swing, and the mid-tempo “Say Your Prayers” with Royal Blood’s Mike Kerr is rich and catchy enough to imagine on the radio or a car ad. This time out, Bass Drum of Death sound as if they want to compete.