Wednesday, 15 September 2010

The Good The Bad – From 001 To 017 (Self Release)

Having heard that Wayne Kramer of the legendry MC5 noted The Good The Bad as the best band at SXSW 2010, I had high expectations of this album. Describing themselves as a new school surf and flamenco band, they are a completely instrumental three piece from Denmark. As I started listening I got taken back to the 1960’s, and could immediately imagine this music in a Quentin Tarrantino film now. If he were to remake Pulp Fiction then these seventeen songs would be laced through the whole film, peaking at the moment he uses ‘001’ in the dancing competition at Jack Rabbit Slim’s.

The Good The Bad are making music that has no hint of any modern influence; the songs are short and to the point with a pure surf rock sound that seems unaffected by any modern genres or technology. As well as each track being written to echo that classic era, the recordings do it justice as well. They sound grainy and are heavy on the reverb & delay; every time the band gets louder the definition between the instruments gets taken away as if they are really pushing the tape to its limits. There is none of this always-sounds-perfect digital recording malarkey.

As I got about half way through the album, the fully instrumental side of the band did start to become extremely apparent though. With a lack of vocals, everything started to get a little dull. It’s not that it sounds monotonous; each track is obviously different, which is helped by the lead guitar parts that give each song its melody and character. I just felt like some vocals might have helped to keep everything moving a little faster. But then the keyboards and brass sections kicked in. They add that missing edge to a few of the songs in the second half of the album, which steps the tracks up a notch and keeps everything interesting. It is a great touch to the album, and an even better addition to the music.

The Good The Bad aren’t going to become a household name with their sound, just as I don’t believe they are going to sell millions of records. But if you are a fan of surf rock, a fan of Quentin Tarrantino soundtracks or just fancy something completely different from the norm to listen to, then I highly recommend getting a copy of ‘From 001 To 017’. 8/10

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