>> Bass Drum of Death has been a garage-rock mainstay for a decade. With “Just Business”, they’re moving beyond the overhead door.
“Just Business” brings some new elements the Bass Drum of Death sound without forgetting their bread & butter. It’s still got the same crashing drums and stunningly distinctive guitar/bass tone, but now there’s some more prominent synth in the mix too. Things probably don’t get less BDoD than the intro to “Heavy”, with its church-style organ and boom-clap percussion, yet it still seamlessly flows into their historic style later in the song. This isn’t a pivot for the band, it’s a perfect addition of new elements to their perfect mix.
BDoD’s beautiful guitar and bass sound from previous albums sticks around on “Just Business”, and it gives the album that same amazing tone we’ve come to expect. It’s almost like a medium-grit sandpaper: aggressive enough to make something happen, but not so gritty that it’s painful to behold. It’s a sound that almost exclusively exists in Bass Drum of Death and maybe King Tuff, and one that’s always welcome.
There are a few tracks on “Just Business” that seem like exactly that -- just business. Generic lyrics, uninspired guitar, they sound like a love letter to bland mainstream radio. Bass Drum of Death almost seems like they haven’t heard of satellite radio, and they’re looking for listeners from local dad-rock FM. It’s not a vibe that works well for them.
With a title like “Just Business”, you’d be forgiven for expecting this album to be more of the same Bass Drum of Death sound. Luckily, we got so much more than that. “Just Business” expands out the classic BDoD tone in interesting ways, while still staying true to the core concepts of their sound. It’s a near-perfect mix of novel and familiar, and shows some promising leads for future releases. It’s got its moments that can get generic or repetitive, but by and large they’re drowned out by the sheer number of future classic tracks. 4/5 <<