Review Summary: You wanna be famous like a real band? You gotta be criticized like a real band.
I have no problem with kids wanting to be famous. I get it. I remember the time when I was a young child, just grasping the concept of such complex and unorthodox musical talents like Creed and Limp Bizkit and wanting to follow in their wake to become a rock star. I remember learning certain riffs by ear and converting them to my $65 Wal-Mart acoustic guitar, and then wanting to show everyone how much of a badass I was by playing them “Break Stuff” by Limp Bizkit or “Dirty Window” by Metallica. I too had dreams of touring the world with TheSonomaDude (real name unknown) becoming a household name in every country and culture.
I was ***.
I recently found a video of myself playing “Some Kind Of Monster” by Metallica from the 5th grade on my good ol’ acoustic. Damn, everyone in my grade saw that video due to several recesses being spent on me showing around my video camera, but most of them said “dude, you’re good!” when, in reality, I was appalling. I had picked up the guitar less than a year before and I was a goofy, uncoordinated white kid with a made-in-China guitar, no skills, limited musical taste, and a ***ty haircut.
If I was offered a recording contract at the age of 9, I would’ve taken it in less than a heartbeat, but I’m glad nothing ever came my way because I’d have something like Bad Departure on my resume. Straight from Tom’s River, New Jersey, Bad Departure brings vocalist/guitarist Max Branvall with bassist/guitarist/vocalist Cody Fox and an unknown drummer to attempt Green Day and Blink-182 covers. You think Green Day and Blink suck ass when played by the original band members? Well, now you get the pleasure of hearing them being played by untalented kids. While listening to Bad Departure, I see my 5th grader self. No experience? Check. Mediocre song to cover? Check. Awkward presence? Check. The difference ends with the fact that I got better with years of practice and, while I’m not where I probably should be, I can finally laugh at my Metallica video and say “I can do that!”
Bad Departure is…I don’t even know. They are just the ***ing worst thing ever. Seriously.
Look, I get making fun of some dumb American kids attempting stardom is pretty low, but these kids aren't just some 5th graders perched at the edge of their beds playing into a low-res camera only for their friends to see, oh no, these kids are out on a mission to get big right now. They want to be famous, they want to be the next Green Day or Blink-182, and they want it to happen this very second. Bad Departure isn't just a fun group thing, it’s an actual band with several gigs, a band logo, expensive adult equipment, demo tapes, and a compilation CD on ReverbNation. Either way, they claim to be high school freshmen as of 2014, making them all about 15 years of age. The sad fact that I can find more biographies, videos, pictures, and concert tours just by simply typing in “Bad Departure” in Google than Paysage D’Hiver or Myrimin is extremely unsettling.
So what exactly is bad about Bad Departure?
Let us begin with their talent. There is none. Every once in a while the drummer will keep a decent beat as seen in their St Jimmy cover, though that really isn't a talent as it a non-negotiable given for a drummer, but everything else is ample feces. The singer can't sing, the guitarists can't strum, the bassist can't keep up, the drummer can't keep tempo, I’m surprised these kids can put on a shirt let alone pick up a guitar. Every song, whether it be live or in the studio, we find Bad Departure struggling to keep pace or place their fingers on the right guitar frets. Such examples include their cover of “Missing You”, in which guitarist Max Branvall is almost an entire measure behind where he is supposed to be, with every instrument going out of sync completely. None of the instruments have any relation to each other as the players just dribble along, unconsciously changing time signatures and tempos. The live recording of “Basketcase” immediately begins with the pre-pubescent vocalist crying in an unknown key into the microphone in a tempo that is much faster than the guitars or bass. The drums and bass kick in to immediately heighten the mood of “we haven’t practiced in infinity,” and the guitar fades away into obscurity, overdriven by the out-of-tune bass and obnoxiously loud drums. The “American Idiot” cover starts off fairly well, I mean, as well as everything can, but pudgy bassist Cody Fox whispers into the mic about a half second behind, leaving me completely without any knowledge of what he is saying.
The next problem with Bad Departure is…well, I guess if you have no talent then there isn’t much you can do. Still, they manage to give some baffling experiences that require deep critical and scientific analysis to understand the purpose as for why they happened and what it was supposed to be like. Their live Green Day cover of “She” starts off normally, but a few seconds in Max Branvall begins spewing inane gibberish out of complete nowhere. For several seconds his tongue discharges words of an unknown dialect with no rhythm or flow. “You worried? You worried? You worried? You worried?” are the only words I can make out, but it’s pretty damn easy to catch that based on the fact that he says it for thirteen seconds. Seriously, “YOU WORRIED YOU WORRIED YOU WORRIED YOU WORRIED YOU WORRIED YOU WORRIED YOU WORRIED” like a broken record. You can even hear the crowd, all two of their parents, getting riled up, with angered “hey!”s and attention-alerting whistles being picked up on audio. As soon as the real verse begins, the drummer falls asleep and the tempo drops 50%. Mocking and snickering can be heard from within the New Jersey crowd, though the true moment of hilarity ensues as soon as the song ends and we hear the crowd go dead silent. No cheers, no hurrahs, no claps or whistles, not even the ***ing crickets showed their gratitude. I really hope nobody important saw this live.
Other highlight moments include “When I Come Around” featuring eight seconds in which the guitarist just stops playing completely mid riff only to join back in a full measure behind. The solo has started and he is still playing the last few seconds of the chorus. Seriously, WHAT THE *** ARE THESE KIDS DOING ON STAGE. Their acoustic rendition of “There Is” by Boxcar Racer features guitars that are completely out of tune, I mean, completely. At least my 5th grade video had me in tune. I mean, these kids want to be big but they can’t even ***ing tune a guitar in any remote key? That’s where I draw the line. *** these kids.
Part of me believes this is some sort of genius spoof. You’ve got to try in order to be this abysmal, but even that would take lots of studying on what makes a song bad. I may have played guitar and wanted to be big and all, but the difference between 10-year-old me and Bad Departure is that I never embarrassed myself. I never booked any gigs, I never posted any videos of myself on YouTube and bitched at anyone who said I sucked (which, trust me, butthurt replies from the band are half of the comments) and I never boasted about the new EP coming out…oh yah, Bad Departure claims to be working on a new EP and they played live at Central Park in May of this year. I’ll end at that.
Seriously, Sahara was better than this ***, and Sahara had a ***ing 5-year-old on vocals. At least Sahara was full of energy and was
laughably bad in such a way that it was fairly awesome, like “yah bro, nice job, high five!” I mean, at least Sahara covered Tool and Sodom. But this…