BADBADNOTGOOD
III


4.0
excellent

Review

by David Driver USER (81 Reviews)
May 20th, 2014 | 49 replies


Release Date: 05/06/2014 | Tracklist

Review Summary: So some white Canadians walk into a jazz bar…

It’s becoming increasingly clear that Canadian jazz trio BADBADNOTGOOD does not want to be pigeonholed. Starting as a young jazz cover band, reinterpreting hip-hop tracks and Legend Of Zelda tunes, the band has since continued to grow by incorporating their various influences into their own brand of Jazz. Now with the group’s third full-length, III, the band has put forth an album comprised of 100% original material, and it certainly isn’t your grandparent’s jazz.

As a jumping point, it’s pretty hard to label III thanks to the house of influences and variety of styles these guys bring to the table, but that is a compliment to the band and certainly one of the album’s strengths. Jazz has been fragmented throughout the years into dozens of subgenres (to the point of absurdity, honestly), but these guys put a new spin on it with electronic elements, instrumental hip-hop influences and shades of post-rock mixed in to a strong jazz trio foundation. If you told me that some of these tracks were from a Herbie Hancock album, I’d believe you; if you told me that some of these tracks were by Mogwai, it would be hard to disagree. Those looking for traditional jazz might be turned off, but those who like their jazz with a twist will be pleasantly surprised.

In terms of styles and structures, III has much to offer. The album’s opening tracks “Triangle” and “Confessions” are the most stable, on-the-tracks, anchored numbers of the whole runtime, with roaming bass lines and piano solos on “Triangle” and a lazy drawling saxophone on “Confessions”. In contrast to these more traditional jazz trio romps is “Can’t Leave The Night”, which shows the band’s exorbitant, experimental style: a lush Rhodes piano line that eventually gives way to noisy cymbals and numerous sub-bass rattles, showing off the band’s hip-hop tendencies. Certainly two different kinds of sounds to start III, but the enthusiasm and creativity is firmly on the sleeve of these three musicians.

From there, III gets more loose and free-flowing. “Kaleidoscope” features a catchy Rhodes-driven line before hushing into bass solos and saxophone accompaniment, and successfully creates a silky, murky setting in contrast with the bright piano instrumentation. “Eyes Closed” is much of the same, but takes a post-rock philosophy of starting slow and erupting towards the finish, complete with more bass solos inside of a loose structure that ends up being enthralling and organic. Lastly, slow jams “Hedron” and “CS60” are laid-back, easy-going, and are terrific in creating a shadowy, almost somber setting with its hushed instrumentals and unorthodox progressions. The spirit of Jazz, focusing on originality, textures and tone, is certainly alive within most of the album.

But while III has a lot of positives, there are some spots where the mix of styles are not as successful. “Differently, Still” is probably the most traditional jazz you’ll find on the album, and I’m not sure if it’s because the rest of the album has spoiled me, but it just doesn’t seem to have enough substance to keep it interesting. Also, “Since You Asked Kindly” is the opposite end of the spectrum that shows BBNG swinging for the fences with mixed results: a slow build to a synthy lowbrass type of sound that, again, doesn’t really have the texture quality or the memorable hooks to warrant multiple listens.

Post-bop? Cool jazz? “Hipster” jazz? I’m not sure, really. But what BBNG has created with III is certainly a one-of-a-kind accomplishment, and is undeniably a fresh take on a genre that has multiple interpretations in the past century. Featuring a myriad of interests, talented instrumentals, a grimy tone and a strong “who gives a ****” mentality flowing underneath it all, III is a rousing success, and is hopefully just one of the many breaths of fresh air to come from this young talented trio.



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user ratings (224)
Chart.
3.9
excellent
other reviews of this album
kvltwalter (4.5)
BBNG mature and shift their style on another fantastic release...

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III

Comments:Add a Comment 
SharkTooth
May 20th 2014


5865 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

I'd say smooth jazz, and yeah great review for a great album

Digging: Dr. Dre - The Chronic

Beauville88
May 20th 2014


225 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Digging the album, no review. Presto!

Keyblade
May 20th 2014


15220 Comments


They just keep getting better with each release.

Digging: Insides - Euphoria

TheBarber
May 20th 2014


2047 Comments


Big respect for these guys, albums rules and it was brave to finally release an album with all personal material as well as still branching out in multiple territories for the best.
Awesome band and great review even though I disagree with thoughts like: "a slow build to a synthy lowbrass type of sound that, again, doesn’t really have the texture quality or the memorable hooks to warrant multiple listens.", also eyes closed is actually of krautrock inspiration (especially neu!) but whatev.
pos!

Digging: Low Roar - 0

Gyromania
May 20th 2014


15967 Comments


about as good as the second album, which was also very boring

TheBarber
May 20th 2014


2047 Comments


wut? how can the second one be boring with tracks like bastards/lemonade or you made me realize?

Gyromania
May 20th 2014


15967 Comments


it's just meandering and boring. there are some really cool things happening and quite often, but the tracks themselves drag and lack any staying power with me. the ones you mentioned are enjoyable, and i liked the second track too. idk, maybe i'll revisit it

Calc
May 20th 2014


12298 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

album is great

Digging: Mr. Oizo - The Church

MikeC26
May 20th 2014


3202 Comments


sweet gonna check this out. nice review man posd

Funeralopolis
May 20th 2014


11763 Comments


still need to hear this

Digging: Waxahatchee - Cerulean Salt

ShitsofRain
May 20th 2014


5946 Comments


good album

Hep Kat
May 20th 2014


15356 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

boss

Pajolero
May 20th 2014


220 Comments


GOODGOODNOTBAD

FourthReich
May 20th 2014


18057 Comments


is this as boring as their other albums

Digging: Hail Mary Mallon - Bestiary

Nikkolae
May 20th 2014


4866 Comments


Its fun

Digging: Giant - Song

Gyromania
May 20th 2014


15967 Comments


it is as boring, yes

ShitsofRain
May 20th 2014


5946 Comments


its no orchid/pig destroyer

FourthReich
May 20th 2014


18057 Comments


well then imma go jack off instead

zaruyache
May 21st 2014


7250 Comments


This sounds interesting. Must listen later.

Digging: Sleepytime Gorilla Museum - In Glorious Times

Omaha
Staff Reviewer
May 21st 2014


10359 Comments


surprised you would find these guys boring, Matt- i've always found them relatively entertaining on the whole, even tho i dont get into this style of music terribly often. in addition, i definitely think II is their most engaging album because of how damned energetic their original songs are (tho i will say i don't like many of their covers- they lose something in the process, i think)



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