Bring The Noise UK

ALBUM REVIEW: Badflower – OK, I’M SICK

Badflower 2019 Credit Tyler Shields

Photo Credit: Tyler Shields

Today Badflower have released their debut album OK, I’M SICK much to the delight of fans who have eagerly been anticipating its release. The release is a musical rollercoaster of emotion as heavy lyric topics are broached, whilst making them memorable to listen and sing along to. The quartet might not have anything to prove with their debut, but they do prove they desire your attention and here’s why.

OK, I’M SICK begins with x ANA x, a chaotic opening with swirling guitar lines and spoken words thrown into the mix for good measure. “I’m sick, not the kind of sick that sends you to the doctor/I’m kind of alright but sicker than I can cope with” gives an insight into the real story this album is going to tell. It’s incredibly powerful as Josh Katz opens up about struggling with anxiety, and dealing with the pressure to still make sure a great show is put on each night. It’s wild, rowdy and explosive in the best way possible. Progressing on to The Jester, it’s a new style of track. Slow and steady, there’s an emphasis on vocals and lyrically it’s a powerful track.  This storytelling style which Badflower possess makes it a captivating listen, as you become intrigued as to where the release is going to wind up.

Single Ghost saw Badflower gaining a lot of attention from different places and from fans alike. Reaching out as a cry for help when life gets too much to handle, it’s sung from the point of view of someone who has attempted but failed to take their own life and is reflecting upon it. Musically this tracks pulls together some incredible elements of the band, as the riffy guitar lines drive your head in different directions whilst you gather thoughts over the story unfolding. It’s a hard listen due to the subject matter, but how emotionally raw it is as a visual representation of the track is built up in your mind. We’re In Love is something totally different to give a little break from the heavy lyric matter, but sadly compared to the high standard of material offered on this release it just doesn’t match up. It feels safe and too easy to forget, all but the “we’re in love” singalong line.

Promise Me takes us back to the sound that Badflower excel in creating, this take on a love song (which, let’s be honest, every good release needs) is funkier and happier than previous material whilst maintaining the heavy rock element. We’re in love with the heartfelt lyrics including “I’ll never walk away without you with me,” singing of mistakes that those around you make, but being determined to have the perfect love story which ends too soon. Daddy is a haunting listen and honestly, not an easy listen, so be warned before diving into this track as it touches upon sexual abuse from those who should be protecting you. This is an important topic, but one we just can’t say we enjoyed listening to. 24 maintains the dark, dreary and emotional theme with a slow, steady tempo which builds up into a dramatic, cymbal led track. Katz is blessed with the power of bringing every lyric to life, this suicide note track reels off the problems and reasons for feeling this way: “I’m a panicked freak/‘I’m too afraid to feel alive”. Lyrically this is beautifully written, even if the words being sung are heartbreaking to hear.

Heroin is another track which fans have been able to listen to in the lead up to the album release. We could see this fitting perfectly in a film, when someone is convinced they’re being followed when nobody is visibly around them. The layered guitars and drum on this track create a new musical dynamic we’re yet to hear on this release. It’s the middle ground between heavy, moshpit inducing and slow, sincere ballad. The initial energy given off from Die is absolutely electrifying, setting us up for an incredible three minutes to come. We’re hooked from the gritty guitar lines, big, brashy and in your face riffs and sultry vocals and have found our favourite track on the album so far. This political track is their take on an anti-Trump anthem which will no doubt go down a hit with American crowds. We can already envisage them jumping and circle pits opening up in the middle of venues as soon as this track kicks in. The American Dream might not be thriving, but this track truly is.

On this musical rollercoaster we’re going from in your face to delicate, passionate tracks, which is exactly what Murder Games provides. Despite being slower, the drums and angsty vocals help to throw it into action. This provocative track touches upon the true evil which humans have within them and it has the chance to get people a little bit revved up, but getting people talking is never really a bad thing! We’ll always think of Avril Lavinge when we hear the title Girlfriend, but Badflower look set to change this. It’s groovy, getting underneath your skin with a fast-paced, naughty chorus. Lyrically it’s a bit erm, creepy in places as it’s seemingly about the good old topic of the porn across the internet “I want to see you naked, I want to feel you naked. I want to cut you open, I want to taste your blood/my face is a five, your body’s a ten“. Badflower definitely aren’t afraid to try something new with their lyrics!

As we head towards the end of the release Wide Eyes is helping to bring up the rear with a slow, sombre and reflective style. Mix in a rocked up chorus which quickly reverts back to the slow chorus, we just can’t help but feel something is missing here. We were enjoying being excited by the tracks and how unique they’ve been up to this point. But luckily it’s down to Cry to end the release in the Badflower style we’ve grown to love across OK, I’M SICK. Coming in at over six minutes in length we’re hoping our attention is hooked for the duration, and with the varying tempos and styles exhibited vocally, mixed in with a driving drum line, intricate instrumentals and some soothing melodies to shake things up, this is how you make a memorable exit.

OK, I’M SICK is the perfect debut album to showcase the great music Badflower can create, fluttering between genres and tackling powerful lyric topics. This is a release you’ll genuinely enjoy listening to (except for a couple of uncomfortable moments) as the musical arrangement of the tracks show off the upcoming rock outfit perfectly. Badflower might not be a name we’ve paid attention to before, but this album has changed all of this. Be sure to check out the quartet and their incredible debut album today.

8/10

Standout Tracks: Ghost, Die, Cry

For Fans Of: Shinedown, Nothing More, grandson

Written By: Nicola Craig

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