An addictive earworm of a record.
Label: Basick Records
Released: 14th July 2017
Amidst the surge in popularity of technically-minded rock bands, Bad Sign have been bubbling under the surface while their peers are riding the crest of a tsunami-sized wave. But with a debut like ‘Live & Learn’, all of that is about to change.
The Croydon trio have made a collection of songs which are as intricate as they are simple, and as refined as they are raging. The complexity of their riffs makes it a challenging listen, but at the same time there’s enough cut-the-crap attitude on songs like ‘Square One’ and ‘Liars & Lovers’ to whet the appetites of the uninitiated masses.
Bookended by a pair of far-from-boring interludes, the back-to-back blast of ‘Intermission’ and ‘Closure’ is magnificent in its balance of might and melody. Using his ferocious pipes to outstanding effect, singer and bassist Joe Appleford adds some Chino Moreno-esque intrigue to the mix which only fuels the band in soaring skywards.
Despite their name, this record is an overwhelming good sign of the three-piece’s progression from their ‘Destroy’ and ‘Rebuild’ EPs, but there’s still room for them to hone their craft even further. The hulking grooves of ‘Certitude’ would make for a mammoth crescendo, but with another two songs left to trudge along in its wake, Live & Learn begins to outstay its welcome towards the end.
Although they struggle to be fully captivating for the full duration this record, it feels like Bad Sign are an enigma who will slowly unspool in the coming years and albums. Judging from the numerous moments of promise here, surely the best is yet to come from them.
An addictive earworm of a record, ‘Live & Learn’ is a gargantuan bid for greatness which offers the biggest rewards to those who give it the time, patience and undivided attention it arguably deserves. Danny Randon