New Music Discovery: Beast Make Bomb
This is “What’s Making Me Happy This Week,” a weekly feature inspired by the Pop Culture Happy Hour podcast. It’s pretty self-explanatory.
What’s Making Me Happy This Week is the discovery of Brooklyn-based, NYU-bred indie-pop-punk band Beast Make Bomb. I found this band, strangely enough, when I stumbled upon their cover of a highly underrated ’90s song, Harvey Danger’s “Flagpole Sitta“. Harvey Danger gets mixed in with late-’90s pseudo pop-punk bands like Third Eye Blind, Lit, and – the band that everyone is suddenly hailing in retrospect – Blink-182. But they only had that one radio song that sounded so much like those others (yet was unquestionably better) and are a far superior overall band. But I digress.
Beast Make Bomb’s cover of Flagpole Sitta (available for free download here) is a super-charged version of an already energy-infused song, and it put me on notice that the band was worth listening to. Having nothing to lose, I downloaded their 2012 EP Double Dipper, available at their bandcamp site for whatever price you choose to pay (no minimum). I immediately heard what all the fuss is about. BMB’s lead singer, Ceci Gomez, has what’s been accurately described as a “gritty yet girlishly breathy voice” – she reminds me of a harder rocking Gwen Stefani, or, alternatively, a sweeter Courtney Love. Her voice is not technically the greatest in the traditional sense, but it’s the most effective at conveying the tone of the music, full-throttle girl-punk that isn’t at all intimidating. My favorite song on the EP is “Arachnid”, which (hearkening back to Stefani) sounds like what we all wished No Doubt’s Tragic Kingdom actually was. Truth be told, I’d rather listen to Gomez than a more polished vocalist like Florence Welch any day.
You may be noticing a trend as the theme of mid-late 1990s music is the thread running through my entire description of the band. There’s no doubt that this era of music heavily influenced the band, as evidenced by their choice of recorded cover song. Make no mistake though – Beast Make Bomb is not a ’90s band. As their bandcamp description notes, their music includes “pop melodies” as well as “the distorted punk attitude of late 1970s New York.” They’ve been compared to many acts, some of which are known as late-’90s acts (Hole, Veruca Salt) but also current ones (Dum Dum Girls, Vivian Girls, Metric).
Unfortunately, even though this is “What’s Making Me Happy This Week”, there’s a sad part to all this. It’s too bad that I’m only now realizing that BMB has been making music since 2010, and that as a Brooklyn band I probably could have seen them perform live over the past few years in some pretty intimate venues (they played the Knitting Factory in Brooklyn April 12, 2012 and Mercury Lounge in NYC on May 13th, 2012, to name a few chances). That’s because on July 30, 2012 they played their last show ever at the Studio at Webster Hall. On the bright side, there is some Beast Make Bomb music out there that I haven’t heard yet – their debut EP Skinny Legs (download here) and 2011 follow-up Sourpuss (download here).
So it’s somewhat bittersweet, but that’s What’s Making Me Happy This Week. (As is that excellent album cover.)
Beast Make Bomb – Zombie Song
Beast Make Bomb – Dream Boat
 Seriously, what is going on with the Blink-182 revival? For example, this year’s Riot Fest in Chicago has possibly the best festival lineup that I’ve ever seen, including the Violent Femmes, Pixies, Public Enemy, Dinosaur Jr … yet Blink is the closing act on Day 1. I’ll admit that they’re a little better than I initially gave them credit for 15 years ago if everyone else would just settle down a little bit.
 See what I did there?