Review of Kiss My Superbowl Ring, An Album by The Garden

Harper McNamara, Staff Writer

The Garden is a band recognized for its sporadic mix of a punk rhythm section comprised of drums and bass and an angular, often violent, lead section. Their vocals can alternate in a single song between hardcore punk vocals, low-key soft vocals, and edging spoken word. But what’s most surprising about The Garden is that their group is a two-piece band comprised of a set of twins.

Earlier this year the band dropped their fourth album: Kiss My Super Bowl Ring.

The album opens with a typical Garden track titled Clench to Stay Awake. The track opens with loose ambient guitar and bass with a mix of odd electronic drums and an acoustic studio kit. About halfway through the track, there is a shift to loud distorted guitar and vocals with more aggressive drums before the track switches back to the same ambient sound it opened with. This shift between soft and loud is typical for the Garden and shows up in most of their songs. The second track, A Struggle, is in this style but switches tones every few bars.

Sneaky Devil, the third track opens with the muffled sound of dogs barking with a low fast bass before the entrance of fast-paced punk drums. This song best exemplifies the album in my opinion, as it has a lot of elements typical in Garden songs; it has a hard punk feel, alternating vocal and instrumental styles, odd twists and turns.

The most well-received track of the album is AMPM Truck, and in my opinion, it is rightfully so. The song is consistent with the rest of the album, but is more structured in some ways, while still holding the erratic feel of Kiss My Superbowl Ring.

Unlike most Garden releases, Kiss My Super Bowl Ring has two features: Khalif Jones on Lurkin’ and Ariel Pink on Lowrider Slug. These songs bring more stylistic variety to the album and make it more colorful.

Overall, the Garden’s new album turned out pretty good. I think it demonstrates a lot of growth in the group and shows some stylistic solidity.