Detroit indie-punk outfit Tart unleashes their new album, Better Luck Next Time, via Romanus Records.
Made up of Zee Bricker (vocals), Adam Padden (guitar), and Donny Blum (drums), Tart fuses high-octane pop-punk flavors with fulminating garage rock into a raw gnarly sound hitting like an anvil to the chest.
In other words, Tart takes the doctrine of declarative causality and makes it a relentless sonic endeavor of reckless dynamism.
Bricker and Padden began working together in 2013, followed by unveiling Tart the next year, followed by taking some time off and adding Blum’s Thor-like drums to the line-up.
When asked by Mike Pfeiffer of Detroit’s Metro Times to describe Tart’s sound, Bricker replied, “Sinister shred-pop ‘femmelectro’ new wave.”
Encompassing 10-tracks, Better Luck Next Time begins with “Little Death,” opening on a banshee howl flowing into a muscular, driving rhythm topped by blistering guitars, while Bricker’s wickedly snarling voice infuses the lyrics with Cruella de Vil timbres.
“She’s coming now, just like thirsty vultures and a black corvette.”
Speaking subjectively, entry points include “Sour,” featuring dirty, roiling guitars riding a galloping beat as Bricker’s teasing femme fatale tones glide atop the impishly dark melody. Edgy and proximate with growling heft, “Sour” pulses with vinegary, bruising resonance.
“Like Lovers Do” opens on surf-rock savors, with Bricker’s ‘60s-laced tones sliding out on retro-chic surfaces. A thumping drumbeat shifts the harmonics to fat, potent guitars traveling on a pulverizing rhythm. Bricker’s velvety and simultaneously grimacing vocals inject the lyrics with searing textures, betwixt and between sensitive tenderness and shameless carnality.
Oscillating, dazzling lysergic guitars invest “Just A Matter of Time” with gravitational pull, conjuring up vague memories of Van Halen’s “Eruption,” only more ominous and enflamed. “Around With You” begins with a serrated drum shuffle rolling into grinding guitars accented by incandescent wails. The highlight of this track is Bricker’s voice, ranging from delectably quixotic to wildly brash.
The final track, “Walkaway,” skewers listeners on crushing, grating guitars supported by rattling, machine-gun percussion. Bricker’s sneering, scorning, brutalizing voice slices the atmosphere like a fingernail cleaving through hardened-steel, imbuing the song with scorching venom.
Tart has it going on! Raw, thrashing pop-punk boosted by swaggering garage rock generates rough, tough electrifying music not-to-be-missed.