Punk’s not dead, and with Brooklyn trio Slothrust, it just got a lot more fun. On their Ba Da Bing debut, Of Course You Do, the three jazz musicians celebrate loudness with furiously danceable tracks (and the odd love song) that inhabit a realm of ennui and the weird. Drums, guitar and bass evoke both Sonic Youth and death metal, but front woman Leah Wellbaum’s androgynously droll deadpan is the main attraction. She has the melodic melancholy of Nico, Karen O’s sultry growl and the ghoulish cackle of the Cramps’ Lux Interior. In “Beowulf,” she muses at the literary “sick puppy” with his penchant for murder sprees and the persecution of woodland creatures. “No Eye Candy” finds her lovelorn for a sweaty man with a snake.
This is not the punk of protest, or even the garage. Rather, Wellbaum and crew craft playful, tightly instrumented visions of psychic dysfunction, inflatable lovers, worm regurgitation, cat appreciation and Satan. It’s music for long-haul road trips in busted cars, where the destination is a club that smells awful but the crowd is cool.—Kate Crane