Thursday, July 23, 2009

Bad Veins: "Bad Veins" album review

There's been a fair bit of hype generated around Cincinnati indie duo Bad Veins. The public gets to see if it's worth it now with the release of the band's debut album Bad Veins.

The short answer to the question is a resounding no. Most of the tracks on the album are unnoteworthy mid-tempo numbers. Songs like "You Kill" and "Afraid" are middle of the road alternative rock derivatives.

Some tracks feature synth and electronic embellishments. In these instances the music comes across as having little heart and soul. The result is a kind of Killers-Lite, which is not a good thing.

Tracks like "This Ending" and "Crosseyed" are meant to have an emotional impact on the listener. Instead of achieving that, those songs become plodding, melodramatic throwaways.

Bad Veins do give us a glimmer of hope with "Falling Tide". The track opens with a pulse pounding rhythm. Unfortunately after one chorus even that promising number falls back into the rut of nothingness.

This is one instance when blogosphere buzz has definitely missed the mark. Skip this album.

Bad Veins play the El Mocambo in Toronto on August 2nd.

Best tracks: "Falling Tide", "Found"

Track listing for Bad Veins:
  • Found
  • Gold and Warm
  • Crosseyed
  • You Kill
  • Afraid
  • Lie
  • Falling Tide
  • Dry Out
  • This Ending
  • Go Home

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1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I'm not the biggest Bad Veins fan either, but calling the band "Killers-lite" or whatever says more about this reviewer's thin record collection than the music on this album. While there are undeniable attempts to produce anthems of Killers scope on Bad Veins, how these bands arrive in the some -- some -- of the same places is two different stories.

Next time, pay less attention to the singer's voice when railroading a band. Bad Veins' problem is using lazy anthemic structures to advance their unusually dense and occasionally spellbinding arrangements. They need to put equal emphasis on all parts. The Killers put all their eggs in the anthem basket, contrarily, and have the worst touch when adorning these things in the studio. Case in point is the "Thin White Duke" remix of "Mr. Brightside," which is infinitely better than the album version.

But I digress.