From New York City, a breeding ground for some of the greatest punk acts of all time comes Desert Sharks, a garage punk band made up of four badass femmes. Their debut album Baby’s Gold Death Stadium dropped last September. Apparently, the album title is an amalgamation of four Brooklyn venues that have some significance to the four-piece
The album kicks off with “Sorceress,” a song embracing the inevitability of aging, pumped up with fuzzy guitars and a punchy drum beat. Singer and bassist Stephanie Gunther has a voice that is both soothing and haunting, backed up by the occasional “ooh” from her bandmates to add a surfy and sometimes spooky flavor. The songs have a simple Ramonescore structure, yet they’re fun and catchy, with darkness lurking below the surface, like “I Don’t Know How to Dress for the Apocalypse.” The production is a lot cleaner and crisp than their previous EPs, but still keeps the hum of the amplifier at the beginning for an authentic garage sound. “Sick Sad World” works as both a commentary on the sorry state of society and as a tribute to the TV show Daria, a huge influence for many young rockers due to its sarcastic humor and grunge soundtrack.
The final track “Dead Rat Cake Shop” stands out from the rest of the album. Only 38 seconds, it’s filled with feedback and screeching guitars. Gunther hollers in a higher and more aggressive tone. They sound like raw punk band plucked straight from the dirty lofts of NYC (Porvenir Oscuro and Exotica come to mind). I get that it was probably a one-off joke, but I would have liked to hear more elements of that sound throughout the album.
Regardless, this is a very entertaining album. You find yourself getting lost in the music, unable to resist bobbing your head and moving your body with every note.
by Chris Aitkens
*Edited by Dominic Abate