The Murder Case: Bobby Barrows / Yass

Bobby Barrows

CD, self-released, 2013


CD, self-released, 2013

The decision of Kagoshima garage-punk fuzzmaniacs The Murder Case to release two 15-to-20-minute mini-albums on the same day instead of one 35-minute full album is an odd one, but back to back listens to Bobby Barrows and Yass reveal that they really are two very different albums. Of the two, Bobby Barrows has more songs, is shorter, and more fun. The longest track, Bermuda Klaxon, is a perfect three pop minutes, while the shortest, Twist, is barely over one. The whole thing fizzes with fuzzy, scuzzy, distorted, high octane garage rock with vocals that sound like the result of a lifetime spent in indentured service to cheap whiskey and cheaper cigarettes.The Murder Case: Twist

Yass is where the band show what they maybe think of as their more sensitive side. The songs are slower, longer, and they flirt dangerously with the fringes of melody, although the distortion and grinding rock brutality are barely compromised a jot by this fuzzed-out introspection. If anything, the greater space the arrangements leave provides an arena for the band to throttle and abuse their instruments in new and different ways, as on Kill Me Baby. In a way, Bobby Barrows can be seen as the raucous, destructive all-night party with Yass as the following day’s throbbing hangover and whiskey breakfast.

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