Desert Sharks – Baby’s Gold Death Stadium

8.5/10

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.

Written by Chris Aitkens
*Edited by Dominic Abate

About Chris Aitkens 49 Articles
Chris Aitkens has been writing about music since the tender age of 16, getting his start writing reviews for Vermont-based zine Verbicide. More than a decade later, he has dedicated his life music. Having graduated from Concordia’s journalism program, he is now working graveyard shifts as a board operator at Virgin Radio, CJAD 800, and occasionally, CHOM. He also hosts his own radio show on CJLO 1690AM called Sewer Spewer, a weekly guide to Montreal’s punk and extreme metal scene. In the little free time that he has, Chris sings in a shitty punk band called Gutser, and from time to time, writes about horror movies for Nightmare On Film Street. None of these ventures have made Chris wealthy at all. In fact, he’s more broke than ever. But it’s all worth the sacrifice to live a life filled with art.

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