Main Image: Gabbie Rotts Facebook
Accurately condensing one's own feelings into a song can be a tricky business for musicians these days. Nailing the magical balance between heartfelt vulnerability and ironic detachment is no easy feat but, when managed, the results reward. On their upcoming LP Gabbie Rotts, a three-piece garage rock band from Atlanta, manage to accomplish just that, and the record is indeed rewarding.
Across their impressive debut, Gabbie Rotts take the emotionally vulnerable and intensely personal themes of heartache, depression, anger, and frustration, to then attack them with a swirl of catchy garage rock hooks and beautifully harmonized vocals. The mix, upon listening, is reminiscent of a cross between Pavement and Best Coast.
Pink Drink opens with the eerily soothing group chant of the title track, but following this it rolls with speed right into its main lyrical themes, addressing self-involved men and the damage they do, a swirl of crunchy riffs carried with just a hint of detached punk-rock swagger. Songs such as “You’re A Depressing Person” leave nothing left unsaid, while “Chattanooga,” after beginning with the earnestness of a country song, turns to address the adventure found in being able to lose one's self to alcohol in the titular city.
Later track “Johnny” lyrically tears into yet another self-absorbed punk, but stands apart sonically from the rest of the album, as it finds the band trying their hand at vandalsesque punk rock meeting rockabilly sounds - to great effect. Elsewhere, the powerful “Be Quiet” is bound to be remembered as possibly the most melancholic moment on the album, sucking the listener in with its mellow chords and fuzzy guitar progressing alongside lyrics revolving around being gas-lighted and infantilized.
Taken as a whole, Pink Drink maintains a bleak lyrical narrative, but the ladies of Gabbie Rotts approach everything with so much likable energy that you can’t help but sense a wry smile spliced amongst the stories of heartbreak and sadness here. By the time the record ends with a reprise of the title track, it feels almost fitting that Pink Drink closes out with the sounds of the band collapsing into relieved laughing fits.