Oxford, Mississippi native John Barrett navigates stripped, indie garage rock’s parameters on the oddly appealing John Barrett’s Bass Drum of Death EP.
Beginning with the hard edged "Stain Stick Skin," Barrett intones the repeated line, "You’ve got a hole in your head now" over fuzzed-out lead guitar reverb. "Ballad of Bandit X" turns the volume controls down for a swinging, interpersonal order in which the author decides, "I’m gonna lay down the law." "P Ghost" takes minimalist, whisper-to-a-scream dynamics to new heights, courtesy of Barrett’s melodic riffing on guitar. The composition quickly forms and takes hold, making it the high point on Bass Drum of Death. "Slow Eyes" is good, old-fashioned, electrified blues in the spirit of The Black Keys and The White Stripes. "Sucker Free" finishes off the recording in rave up fashion, and Barrett nails the performance with a vocal bite and deepening musical resolve.
Impressive and wide ranging for a debut, John Barrett’s Bass Drum of Death leaves one in anticipation of this fresh artist’s next project.
Bass Drum of Death is out now on Fat Possum Records.