CMJ - "His voice is strong, forceful and melodic..."
Bass Drum of Death's third full-length album, 2014's Rip This, is an unrelenting steamroller of fuzz-laden, deliriously boneheaded garage rock. Once again centered on the duo of John Barrett and Len Clark and featuring production from Jacob Portrait, Rip This is a shoot-from-the-hip collection of slacker anthems designed to do nothing more than kick ass and ruin your car's speakers. Ploddingly played, sneeringly delivered, and utterly lacking in musical ambition beyond four chords and an hearty "F@#$ You," Rip This is pretty much exactly what you want out of a punk-influenced hard rock album. There's a reassuring predictability to many of the tracks on Rip This that speaks to the heavy vintage influence of bands like the Stooges and MC5. Heavier in tone with a thicker guitar sound than the band's previous albums, cuts like the wild-eyed "Electric," the aptly titled "Left for Dead," and the raging "Burns My Eye" melt into your ears like hot pancake syrup. Elsewhere, Bass Drum of Death borrow J Mascis' slacker guitar energy on the ebulliently ticked-off "Lose My Mind" and slide headlong into midtempo Mott the Hoople glam-boogie blues on "Route 69 (Yeah)." Ultimately, while Bass Drum of Death's reach never exceeds their grasp -- there's no MC5-style ersatz free jazz, let alone a guitar solo to be found here -- Rip This nonetheless grabs your ears like a drunken biker in a bar fight, letting go long enough for you to pick yourself off the floor just in time to get pummeled again. ~ Matt Collar