On record, shock rock rarely holds up when deprived of its in-concert sine qua non --a three-ring circus of visual outrage to which the songs are little more than soundtrack fodder. Locals Dirty Barby follow that path on the full-length "Sleep When I'm Dead." Nearly indistinguishable ditties "PMS 666" and "Feathered Hair" blow their meager wads on two-minute blasts of sleaze-metal guitar, hypermilitary drum beats and taunting group vocals, never halting their frenzy to dally with a concrete chorus or bridge. (Key changes? Ha.) The crummy-cute production bathes the basic tracks in mismatched reverb and echo; the result is a sound not unlike a sack full of kittens trying to escape from a deep well. In Dirty Barby's world, these are not necessarily flaws. As an advertisement for the band's live show, "Sleep" comes through with flying colors: You can't help but wonder what this sickness must look like.
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