BAD SIGN are a band that pride themselves on delivering mammoth riffs that will make the ground shake, as well as your head bang. The three piece from Croydon have been developing their sound since their inception around two years ago and with Live & Learn being their debut album, they have a real chance of showing everyone exactly what that sound is and what they are about and man, do they deliver.
The first chugging riff of Liars and Lovers, the album opener sets the pace for what is a fast paced and brutal attack of rhythm. The lyrics throughout the album feel very personal and this song is a proper opening statement that will make you down your tools, turn the volume up and give your full attention to this band. Covenant follows and we get to hear the full extent of Joe Appleford’s range, delving from softer spoken bits to full raspy screams, this is a raging track and arguably the biggest on the record. We’ve lived with the next track Square One for a while now as this was the opening single for the album and this couldn’t have been more aptly named, this band are at the beginning, the very start of a huge journey that on the back of this record will take them far and wide.
Not only does Live & Learn have huge tracks, it has two short instrumental breaks which break the record up perfectly. Intermission follows the first and showcases the technicality of this band as well as the huge riffs however the second break, XI is beautiful and comes between Closure and October, two of the most personal songs on the record. It works as a pathway that you can get lost in between the songs, this isn’t something you would normally find on a debut record. These songs show that not only can BAD SIGN offer you heavy riffs, they can offer you intertwining bass, drums and guitar play that can stand up against any band the UK currently has to offer. The final 32 seconds of Closure are the best 32 seconds on this record and arguably any record that has been released this year.
Something that stands out on this record is the constant and consistent hammering of the drums. Kevin Miller really puts in a shift on every song however this is most obvious on the almost bouncy Attrition. As the album winds down with the huge bass chugging of Certitude and calmer yet hard hitting Immutable you get to the last track on Live and Learn, Paramnesia which not only continues the theme but rounds the record off perfectly. This showcases everything that the guys have done throughout the record and more, the soft guitar over the top helps carry on the theme from XI that you really can get lost in this record, it is sonically incredible.
Live & Learn is the perfect debut, it is a natural progression from the previous EPs but it is so much more than that, this is arguably the debut of the year from a band that only have more to give. This record will knock you off of your feet over and over and if this is square one for BAD SIGN, who knows where this record will take them.
Live & Learn is set for release on July 14th via Basick Records.
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