In an alternate universe there’s been an announcement that Bad Ideas are headlining the second stage at this year’s Reading Festival; their muscular yet bouncy, melody-drenched indie-rock a perfect fit for late evening sing-alongs with friends and strangers alike.
Sadly, our universe has once again proved to be an insufferable shit. ‘Our’ Bad Ideas have called it a day after failing to find a record label to distribute their now self-titled swansong. And, in what can only be peak irony, it’s a fine effort and a fitting testament to one of the hardest working acts out there. Proof positive indeed that our universe is the master of shithousery…
Not that Bad Ideas need, or want, your pity; ‘Bad Ideas’ is the sound of a band coming out windmilling, arms flailing purposefully and head down to avoid any blowbacks – and it sounds lovely.
The punchy rock sound remains, but if anything, the melody has been ratcheted up several notches. ‘Castles’, for example, has some serious indie-pop swagger – like if Supergrass hit the JD and Cokes and Jagermeisters a little too heavily before woozily staggering into the night. It’s fun and infectious stuff played with little pretention but plenty of passion.
Better still are the bruised ‘Give Up’ and live favourite ‘Brian’s Boat’. Both are frenetically urgent, pleading and pulsating, but blessed with some razor sharp hooks. It’s what Bad Ideas do best and these two tracks in particular are straight from the top drawer.
Elsewhere ‘Lighting Fires & Making Mess’ is a thrashy rock anthem with a monstrous riff, proving the Lincoln mob can still rage with the best of them, while ‘Oh My Trouble with Sin’ is a breezy slice of alt-rock that adds poignancy to the group’s decision to call it a day.
Yet ultimately, it’s this very decision that colours every aspect of ‘Bad Ideas’. It’s an enjoyable epitaph for a band that did it for the right reasons. Like their Tellison brethren, Bad Ideas are the type of band who write some stellar indie-rock songs and knock it out of the park every time they hit the stage. No frills, no drama, just bloody good music. And it’s a shame to see them go.
‘Bad Ideas’ by Bad Ideas is out now via Bandcamp.
Words by Rob Mair (@BobNightMair)