In 2010, Beast Make Bomb self-released their debut EP ‘Skinny Legs’. By the third year of their existence, the Brooklyn four piece had already shared a stage with Queens of the Stone Age and Cold War Kids and also gained enthusiasm from the online press. Their second EP, ‘Sourpuss’ is a monster: Four songs which will kick your arse while celebrating everything you loved – and probably continue to love – about alternative rock in the nineties.
‘1, 2, 3, 4’ kicks things off in style with a speedy punk riff delivered in a trashy rock style. For a brief second, the guitar work sounds like it could have been inspired by Rocket From The Crypt or UK punk ‘n’ roll hotshots The Computers. Although it doesn’t ever dominate the track, the riff creeps back in elsewhere, but make no mistake: despite those brief first impressions – and a truckload of gusto – Beast Make Bomb haven’t turned punk ‘n’ roll on their second EP. The speed is a mainstay, but the general feel inevitably shifts towards something a little poppier; partly due to Ceci Gomez’s vocal style, a cross between a young Kim Deal and Dressy Bessy’s Tammy Ealom. The track is in and out in barely two minutes, but it’s long enough for the listener to be knocked over by this bands energy and sheer enthusiasm. If this is your fist experience of Beast Make Bomb, they know you’ll keep listening.
‘Coney Island’ is much softer, almost sounding like the work of a different band. It is here Beast Make Bomb indulges in one of their primary influences, and if you’re a Kim Deal/Breeders fan yourself, you’ll undoubtedly find some musical empathy. The guitar lines shimmer and a repeated line of “you’re gonna take a swim” is instantly endearing, as Beast Make Bomb recalls a hazy daze from the early nineties. While the dreamy indie rock mood provides maximum listening enjoyment, it’s the drum led section towards the track’s end which gives things an extra kick. Hartley Lewis’s solid style occasionally recalls that of David Narcizo, though Narcizo would never have chosen to follow almost tribal pounding with flat out rock thrashing drowned in cymbals… Moving from a dreamy, wandering alternative rock soundscape to a full-pelt climax, ‘Coney Island’ demonstrates Beast Make Bomb’s complete musical range in a single track.
‘Rough It Out’ offers more fuzzy riffs backed by rumbling drums. The guitar riffs are simple and cutting, but it’s the vocals – somewhere between Kim Deal and Karen O – which lends this track its overall loveliness. While the tune remains relatively gritty, the vocal leans more towards the commercial. With a clear split between edgy rhythms and pop hooks, it’s a tune you can spin several times in quick succession without it ever losing its sparkle. ‘Party Monster’ opens with more solid drumming before exploding into an arrangement which fuses the best elements of Throwing Muses and early Breeders. Gomez’s sultry vocal yelps and whispers in a way which commands attention, while the lead guitar work lays down discordant lines throughout. As with ‘Coney Island’, this showcases Beast Make Bomb at their musical best, and by the end, they’ll leave you wanting more.
‘Sourpuss’ offers some great hooks and some greater tunes along the way. The key influences here may often be less than subtle, but quite frankly, when everything sounds this good, who cares?