Bad Marriage are a band keeping the flamboyant energy of classic, stage-ready rock and roll alive and kicking. Their music arrives soaked in high energy and character, every performance is vibrant and showcases a clear love for the art of making music and for having fun – the good vibes pass on well as you witness it.
This album’s title track kicks things off with chaotic yet colourful guitar solos, a thick wall of musicality in general. A mighty hook and a memorable concept meet with a leading voice that seems to be that of someone simply born to be a part of this band. Wizard Of Love follows and mellows things out a touch, there’s space here to reflect on the realness of the instrumentation – the live sound, the authentic energy. The melody develops well and the ideas, the lyrics, continue to touch on those classic, easy going, fun topics that remind you to look at the positives and to put a little joy and poetry into the world. The rising progression up towards the hook confidently provides the perfect moment within which you can ride fast and throw caution to the wind (safely, of course).
Be With You starts off with a quickly familiar riff, the sort of indie-punk intro that effortlessly makes itself known. The song that follows is notably gentle and personal in nature. The delivery is softer, the subject matter is intimate and distinctly human, and the way things progress gives off something of a pop-punk feel that softens the playlist at just the right time. The band have performed, recorded, and arranged these songs with careful attention to every moment, so the hard-hitting energy is there, but it’s presented in a crisp and satisfying, studio-quality manner.
Nay-Sayin’ Blues brings the pace back up a few notches. The intensity returns, the weight, the energizing optimism. The vocal delivery here is flawless and really carries each moment well. The constantly evolving song hits with impact and has the fairly immediate effect of making you want to move around a lot and sing out loud as the stylish key melody erupts. Definitely one of the more memorable tracks on the project.
Dead End Girl veers off down a classically heavy rock and roll route, the noise and energy of it hits more than anything else – this great wall of instrumentation and performance surrounds you; plenty of riffs and passion guide the way. Then to finish comes the vintage and satisfying Old School Stereo.
This last song explodes into its rhythm and riffs initially, but then the set-up falls back a little to lay bare the melody and the concept. The structure works well, it’s clearly been thoughtfully built up, so the two-part verses increase in power more and more so as the chorus approaches. This helps make certain the lines sink in quickly, which they do, resulting in a song that feels like an instant classic or a long lost hit from a couple of decades ago. The nostalgic nature of the concept and the title adds to this feeling.
Bad Marriage are living the life right now, offering something that not too many bands or artists seem able to do. This sort of showmanship and positivity can’t generally be faked, so it’s a pleasure to witness it in all of its authentic glory. A live show is unlikely to disappoint – worth checking out if you stumble upon the opportunity.