Review Summary: Electro Pop, auto-tune free and catchier than an STD.
Bad Lamps are a two-piece pop outfit hailing from California who do things a little differently. Pop music these days tends to conjure up notions of cheesy synthesizers and vocals which are auto-tuned to the point where almost every artist sounds the same. Bad Lamps, along with their debut EP Soultronic, aim to avoid this stigma.
Make no mistake, this is simple electro-pop through and through, but Bad Lamps just do it well and seem to avoid all the pitfalls that plague the genre nowadays. The vocals are simple and straightforward, free of auto-tune and other effects or enhancements. In style, the vocals are similar to those of Ezra from Vampire Weekend, albeit a little deeper tonally, and complement the mellow instrumentals quite well.
The backing music is crafted using guitars, a synthesizer, and drum machine. The tunes here are poppy and light-hearted, using a good array synth lines in conjunction with pulsing drum beats and guitar riffs that all come together to create some extremely catchy parts that will have the listener tapping their foot and singing along after only a listen or two.
In addition to being catchy as all hell, there are little details that stand out and make for an enjoyable listening experience. The synths on opening track "Never Know the Difference" are at first listen somewhat simple sounding, but are actually quite textured and varied throughout the song. They provide the backbone for a jangly guitar line and pulsating drum beats that weave seamlessly through verses and choruses to make the strongest track on the album.
The little breakdown type deal at the end of The Moor that features Spanish style guitar and a loopy synth beat is sure to get your pulse racing and is a unique end to the song. Its one of the different little things Bad Lamps incorporate to set themselves apart from other similar acts.
Soultronic breaks little to no new ground, but the little nuances that are incorporated make it obvious there's definitely some talent on display here, and there are enough pleasant touches along with well executed genre standards that make me think that Bad Lamps will soon be on many more people's radar in the coming months.