Bombay Beach's "Death Tape" Is a Petri Dish of Wonderful Chaos

[GARBAGE SONATA] Nothing about Bombay Beach's debut—the delirious, detritus-daubed Death Tape—suggests the trio has any intention other than pushing as many hooky riffs and as much scrappy noise through in as few minutes as possible. Everything about the album succeeds to that extent, and every one of its 18 tracks is like a petri dish overflowing with the discharge of too many good ideas, trapping the bacteria of surf rock and grunge and post-whatever noise within the culture of a lo-fi sound that acts like a mini-universe unto itself. "Singularity Chorus" and "Deep City Chase" make for surprisingly lush, gorgeous walls of sound into which the chewy, thorny "Murder USA" and the sing-along "Future Fever" sprint headfirst. Some songs imagine what would happen if Sparks fronted Death Grips ("New American Rage") or if Spoon embraced its nihilistic side ("Breakneck/Breakbottle"). Death Tape is all over the place, but it isn't so much a mess as just a wonderful clusterfuck. That it also happens to be a concept album, serving as a script for Bombay Beach's in-the-works genre film, is nothing short of inspiring. It should make other bands wish they could get as much done with so little.

Related: "Introducing: Bombay Beach."

SEE IT: Bombay Beach plays the Know, 2026 NE Alberta St., 503-473-8729, with Full Creature, Bohr and Willow House, on Friday, July 22. 8 pm. Contact venue for ticket prices. 21+.

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