Gina Birch: I Play My Bass Loud (Third Man) - review | Under the Radar Magazine Under the Radar | Music Blog for the Indie Music Magazine
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Gina Birch

I Play My Bass Loud

Third Man

Mar 27, 2023 Web Exclusive Bookmark and Share

As opening lines go, “Sometimes I wake up/And I wonder/What is my job?” is pretty sweet. A lifetime ago, Gina Birch’s job was to play the bass in The Raincoats—a beautifully peculiar tangle of The Velvet Underground, The Crystals, and Lee Scratch Perry. Now almost 44 years since the first Raincoats record, she’s released her first solo album—I Play My Bass Loud.

Birch’s reggae-inspired basslines underpin almost everything on the album. “Digging Down” is built on a typically dubwise bottom end, nicely augmented by Youth’s sympathetic co-production. Elsewhere, “Big Mouth” and “Pussy Riot” have a lovely, early ’70s UK reggae feel. The fuzzed out middle eight of the latter tune however, may have caused a few raised eyebrows in the dancehall.

“Wish I Was You,” one of the singles from the record, is a bit of an oddity. Birch moves away from reggae, training her sights firmly on early ’90s U.S. alt-rock and gets Thurston Moore to add his stun guitar, to a simple but effective rocker. Where’s college radio when you need it?

I Play My Bass Loud is a lot of fun to listen to. It’s heartfelt, naïve, and made with genuine love for the material, and while it may not be earth-shakingly great, you can’t help but get caught up in it. (

Author rating: 7/10

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Average reader rating: 2/10


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