2016 started its round as just another year to add to the history books; here I was again waking on the first day of a fresh year trying to pinpoint where the year prior had fled to. However on this blessed first day of the New Year my ears were ecstatically graced with the wackiness from another world, something so oddball that it left my brain in a knot. The weirdness I am referring too – none other than mystery group B.B. On Mars and their madcap EP entitled Shitty, But What You Want – a picture-perfect title to describe their contagious drool. They are the fast food of garage rock, with greater substance than you’d initially expect.
The phrase ‘DIY or die’ never held more true than for B.B. On Mars and their debut EP Shitty, But What You Want. Everything you need to know is in the title. Also they love mustard yellow.
B.B. On Mars consists of Angelica Drake on bass, Dave Strother on guitar, and Kevin Taylor on drums, with vocal roles distributed amongst the three. The cover to their EP Shitty, But What You Want is a Mustard Yellow. They are probably named after the classic Alice Copper track, and their Bandcamp is tagged with “Maršov” – a village and municipality in Brno-Country District in the South Moravian Region of the Czech Republic. However I’m apprehensive to say they originated from Marškov as their sound is very likened to the infectious grooves coming out of the Midwest USA right now. Think Mark Winter’s extraordinary work with The Coneheads, or even more so his badass series of D.L.I.M.C cassingles.
In all seriousness, currently this is all the information I could dig up on this three-piece wonder group. It’s somewhat striking how great acts can come and go with such little noise or impact, as though they don’t want to be noticed at all. Talk about staying true to the music and giving a strong backhand to all the other bullshit. It’s safe to say I like their enigmatic attitude.
Shitty, But What You Want kicks off with the Theme… that’s right, the B.B. On Mars theme song! It’s a quirky treat of DEVO inspired bluesy licks which sluggishly drone behind the brilliant monotone vocal delivery. Like all four tracks on this momentary affair the Theme spans a mere minute, and doesn’t even take the title as the shortest track here. Rififi is the follow up track; with Angelica Drake on vocals the goofiness pleasantly continues, offhandedly chanting the zany chorus “Rififi”. I can only assume this track is in someway a reference to the 1955 French film bearing the same title, particularly with lyrics such as “You know they’re coming for you / aint nothing you can do”. Ultimately Rififi is yet another brief affair dripping with that classic 1960’s vibe – the perfect soundtrack to get them hips and heels moving in all the right ways.
Welcome the halfway mark where B.B. On Mars greet the listener with a turning point; a darker and edgier side of their sound – initially revealed on Swing Ride. This track is crawling with unsettling guitar lines, and drum rhythms that consistently seem rushed yet laid back simultaneously. Swing Ride flawlessly dives into a gritty punk concoction whilst retaining that organic quirk served up on the first half of this EP. Swing Ride is followed up by not only the EP’s closing track but also its shortest, spanning a sheer fifty seconds. Johnny delivers everything you could ask from a closing track, thriving on a highly energetic approach that is fierce and unapologetic. The gritty guitars slash and burn through the fifty seconds of fame on offer, and undeniably putting the groove back into punk antics. Despite the overall rawness and grit on display throughout this track B.B. On Mars make it seem smooth as all-hell, seamlessly tapping into an impeccable rhythmic and melodic flow.
B.B. On Mars slash and burn through their overall five minutes of fame on Shitty, But What You Want. I absolutely adored this project and if you’re down with the cool kids raving to the garage sounds making waves out of the Midwest USA, or just so happen to be stuck in the past still rocking your energy dome waiting for someone to put the quirky fun back into punk, B.B. On Mars are right up your alley! Needless to say I am beyond eager to hear what’s next from these guys, if anything at all. Nevertheless for now I remain perfectly content grooving to the sweet-sweet rock n roll of Shitty, But What You Want.