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Brought up on the west coast, Bryan Gerhart traded beaches for a capital hill with his move to Washington D.C., where he formed Baby Bry Bry and the Apologists. Gerhart and his Apologists are invested in what they call “lounge punk,” where I’d imagine Frank Sinatra ripping through songs about failed love in a leather jacket.
With his debut release I Learned To Drown Myself Out, Part I, Bry Bry’s brand of punk is anything but lounge. “Lately” is a hasty punk romper that’s akin to the Internet boom garage-rock-revivalists The Hives. Amid the rollicking guitars and tight percussions, Baby Bry Bry is lamenting about the absent thoughts of a lover with bombastic screeches and gritty vocals. Bry Bry and his band slow it down after a searing solo, trading power chords for tender xylophones and self-realization with refrains of “tell myself enough and it’s bound to come true.”
On “Just Because It’s Art (Doesn’t Mean It’s Good),” the band continues where “Lately” left off and doesn’t have the same punchy start as its predecessor. On the number, the Apologists slap on their best Johnny Marr impressions and indulge us with bluesy twang. Bry Bry croons and chides about the lack of substance in art, feelings, and intentions with warnings like “just because it’s love / doesn’t mean its good.”
While Baby Bry Bry’s self-label of “lounge punk” isn’t lounge at all, his flashy brand of punk celebrates D.C’s punk lineage (The Nation of Ulysses) with dashes of glam and moxie.