Bad Sign – Live & Learn
Release Date: 14/07/2017
Label: Basick Records
I first experienced Bad Sign at Hit The Deck 2015 after hearing their single Confession a few months before and I was blown away by how heavy they are live. The riffs were big back then, but live they were a completely different being. They exploded on stage and for just 3 guys from Croydon it was incredible. Fast forward a couple of years and the debut album Live & Learn has just come out.
Now, while I loved Confession when I first heard it, and still do now, Live & Learn isn’t a million miles from that previous sound – it’s just better. In pretty much every single way. The first thing that comes across is that they’ve abandoned any restrain they may have had from the Confession era. Touring with the likes of Black Peaks and Heck must have released their angst.
Some albums are slow burners but Bad Sign aren’t into that shit. Opening with the title track, the riffs are thrown straight out there and that’s where they stay because this album does not let up. The most that it slows down is for Intermission, a track that feels like it sits somewhere between Frank Carter & The Rattlesnakes ‘Blossom’ and ‘Modern Ruin’ albums. Closure runs it close during the verses and choruses but the instrumental ending is just too beautiful for words and sets it just above Intermission.
It isn’t just the riffs that are huge here, Joe Appleford’s vocals, the first thing that attracted me to Bad Sign, are bigger than they’ve ever been with a greater range that ventures in deep shouting at times. He has stepped a game that was already strong. There isn’t an aspect of the album that lets it down though really. The artwork is stimulating, the vocals are engaging and the drumming has you trying to play along. It even becomes accessible to alt-rock novices when ‘October’ comes around.
If this album doesn’t make it into your favourite albums of this year, I don’t really know what it is you want from an album. As far as debut albums go, this is more than likely the best that we’ll see this year. It’s catchy, it’s heavy and it’s just an all round great product. Bad Sign have been threatening to explode for a few years now and finally they’ve followed through on that threat to full effect.
Rating: 10/10 – A perfect score for what is likely to be an album of the year contender
Bad Sign are
Joe Appleford: Bass & Vocals
Jonathan Harris: Guitar
Kevin Miller: Drums
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