Recently, Bad Ideas announced that they would be calling it a day on the music front, and although it’s always a sad state of affairs when a band that you’re rooting for decide to go their separate ways, we can at least be happy about one thing; amongst their goodbyes, they have left us with one last release to enjoy in the form of their third and final full-length self-titled album.
Opener Cheap Holidays begins gently before picking up and setting the pace for the album, an album that from the soft opening to the final distorted medley on closer Oh My Trouble With Sin, represents the classic Bad Ideas formula of unexpected melodies paired with punk swagger and those trademark clean, wavering vocals of frontman Sam Cook. Castles is a fine example of this, and even songs that start out slowly (Here Comes Trouble, Summer’s Patient Skies) build up to crashing drums and energy-fuelled riffs to lead out.
Lead single Give Up is contradictory in its message as the urgent vocal offers negative lyrics – “I am hopeless, I am hopeless, give me hope” – that contrast with the high-energy sing-along chorus. The whole track is passionate bordering on desperate, with a danger of swelling over into angsty territory that makes it all the more exhilarating. Lighting Fires & Making Mess is equally thrilling, and shows us their heavier side, with monstrous riffs that are cut through with abundant guitar licks that lend a very rock ‘n’ roll vibe to the whole thing. It’s these details along with the attitude prevalent throughout that shows us that this Lincolnshire four piece are still punk at heart.
Here Comes Trouble and Summer’s Patient Skies are emotional outpourings, divided by Brian’s Boat which features the steady combination of a jarring opening riff and quickened vocals that demand attention from the outset. Conversely, Summer’s Patient Skies is the resident ballad of the album. Its melancholy tone feels mournful, making us feel all the feels as we realise that this is essentially their swansong. Thankfully, the building nature of the Bad Ideas formula means that by the end, the tuneful vocals have turned into screams that quicken the pulse in an epic finale.
From this offering, we can only lament the passing of yet another band who could possibly be on the cusp of gaining real traction. After the band were unable to find a label to release this output, unfortunately we fear it’s merely a reflection of the current music industry that most people hearing these mighty and melodic songs won’t get the full live experience. Lyrics in closer Oh My Trouble With Sin state, “I’m coming home with a heavy heart”, and we can’t help but feel a little heavy hearted ourselves.
Standout Tracks: Give up, Lighting Fires & Making Mess
For Fans Of: Alkaline Trio, The Menzingers
Written By: Alice Hudson