Badflower
OK, I’M SICK


4.5
superb

Review

by Mason USER (58 Reviews)
February 24th, 2019 | 32 replies


Release Date: 02/22/2019 | Tracklist

Review Summary: The kind of sick that makes an atheist pray for Jesus

Despite how preferable it would seem to be to live in blissful ignorance of the path that modern society has taken and just not care about anything other than your own personal demons, that’s still just what I described it as; blissful ignorance. In the eyes of some, it would be nice to not have to worry about issues such as drug addiction, government corruption, sexual abuse, and suicide. Not everyone sees it that way though. That includes the four guys in Badflower, an up-and-coming rock act from Los Angeles who have already been seeing a great deal of mainstream success, with lead single “Ghost” peaking at #11 on Billboard’s Hot Rock Songs chart. The song showed an honesty that’s not often seen in the genre’s radio mainstays, and it’s clearly personal with its subject matter, detailing a scenario where the writer attempts suicide multiple times, eventually succeeding to become “the white ghost of the man [he] was meant to be.” The strength of the lead single then led to high hopes for future work, and as far as I’m concerned, OK, I’m Sick sees Badflower delivering on those hopes.

For an album from a band that’s said on record that they intend to “bring emo back”, there’s a level of depth in OK, I’m Sick that stretches beyond the boundaries of what you’d expect. When it comes to the music, think of Badflower as a cross between My Chemical Romance and Royal Blood. Like the former, they tackle darker topics in a direct manner and showcase them in a more theatrical format. Like the latter, they derive bits of their sound from the types of bluesy jams that made Led Zeppelin a household name without resorting to plagiarism veiled under the guise of “tribute”, ala Greta Van Fleet. Whether it’s the politically-charged anger of “Die”, the hedonistic urges of “Girlfriend”, or the more moody soundscapes of tracks like “The Jester”, the aforementioned “Ghost”, and closer “Cry”, it’s safe to say the band are carving out their own path while holding on tightly to their influences. Josh Katz and Joey Morrow throw in plenty of interesting licks to keep the momentum going, and the rhythm section, led by Alex Espiritu and Anthony Sonetti, is wonderfully tight and complements Morrow and Katz's guitars well.

If you’re looking for an uplifting album to get out of the doldrums though, beware; the dark is where OK, I’m Sick lives. In fact, it’s one of the most bleak albums I’ve heard in quite some time. While Badflower may not be “emo” in the traditional sense, it’s not hard to imagine songs like “Ghost” or “x ANA x” working on a Sunny Day Real Estate record with some musical tweaks and more pared-back production. Josh Katz delivers each line with a deep sense of conviction; whether it’s the self-deprecating lines of “The Jester” or the haunting tales of a sexually abusive father in “Daddy”, you can tell he cares a lot about what he’s singing about. On their indictment of Donald Trump in the song “Die”, Katz’s passion overrides the song's immaturity; lines like “impeach the asshole and all of his friends” feel less like a petty jab and more like a real call to arms. “Murder Games” is a scathing take on the meat industry and their rather poor treatment of animals, avoiding the cliches that organizations like PETA rely on while staying blunt about the situation. “Girlfriend” on the other hand is the clear nadir of OK, I'm Sick as far as maturity is concerned. During that song, Katz and co. are concerned more with fulfilling lustful urges rather than making any truly meaningful statements.

It’s impressive to see this much potential being realized from such a young act. Usually, the relative inexperience of an act like Badflower would seep through a lot more, as has happened in the past with acts like Letlive. Even acts like Nothing More took longer to find their footing and gain success. As it stands currently, OK, I’m Sick is defined by its relentlessly bleak outlook on the issues of society. It’s also the first of what will hopefully be many more milestones that the band has hit in their career so far. While not quite as openly blues-influenced as prior EP’s such as 2016’s Temper, that half of their influence is still a significant part of their sound. This album is living proof that while it may be “easier” to live in blissful ignorance and just not care, it’s not the wisest blueprint when it comes to creating a masterpiece like this. Despite how preachy certain songs may come off to some, they could have certainly done a lot worse with how they chose to handle the subjects tackled on this album.



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user ratings (65)
3.3
great
other reviews of this album
zachrEEEEEEEEE (3)
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Comments:Add a Comment 
veninblazer
February 24th 2019


10076 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Alright, here's one ahead of schedule.

dmathias52
February 24th 2019


826 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

This seems really interesting - Definitely adding to my list to check out. I’ve been needing some good moody music that I can belt along to in my car.

Digging: Courtney Swain - Between Blood and Ocean

veninblazer
February 24th 2019


10076 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

@dmathias52: You'll love this then. "Ghost" was the best possible choice for a lead single.

Ebola
February 24th 2019


3639 Comments


this is really something

veninblazer
February 24th 2019


10076 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

@Ebola: Fuck yeah, glad you're digging it if that's the case.

Toondude10
February 25th 2019


14034 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

this is really good so far

veninblazer
February 25th 2019


10076 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

@Toon: This one was so out of left field for me. It might even grow on you as time goes on and you relisten to it.

Toondude10
February 25th 2019


14034 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

nothing really groundbreaking or that original, this is still great. Definitely one of the best radio-rock-ish album debuts in a long time

veninblazer
February 25th 2019


10076 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Yeah it's not the most inventive record but it's such an enjoyable experience that I can forget about the fact that they're not reinventing the wheel. Kind of reminds me of I the Mighty in that regard, I absolutely love them even though they're not particularly innovative.

dmathias52
February 25th 2019


826 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

This is basically reading like a Red Jumpsuit Apparatus for 20-something year olds and, honestly, I love that.

veninblazer
February 25th 2019


10076 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

@dmathias52: That's a pretty good comparison, actually. I'm not far off from 20 myself and I absolutely love this shit. They're touring with Nothing More, another phenomenal band that I'm so happy is getting the attention they deserve.

dmathias52
February 25th 2019


826 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

It seems like it’ll be great for that angst release that we all need sometimes. I mean I even really enjoy Die, because I’m a pretty political person and obviously have frustrations, but can’t let those frustrations turn to pure anger. So I’ll let these guys do it for me haha.



I’ll have to check out Nothing More. Their “Similar Bands” tag looks very promising!

veninblazer
February 25th 2019


10076 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

@dmathias52: Oh definitely, I'm not to the same extreme level that they're going but their rage is understandable. And yeah, Nothing More is great.

VaxXi
February 25th 2019


4411 Comments


edit: i retract my celldweller comment but a lot of this still isnt that impressive

ItsTheSquirrel
February 25th 2019


242 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

I love me some good emo rock so I’m hyped to finally listen to this

Digging: Thom Yorke - Anima

ItsTheSquirrel
February 25th 2019


242 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Ok I’m done listening to this now and it’s pretty good. Kinda reminds me of MCR which is a plus but this isn’t as good as they were

grandbazaar
February 25th 2019


37 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0 | Sound Off

Been listening to this for the past days, and the vocals and vocal lines are at times reminiscent of My Chemical Romance and Alkaline Trio. The music is quite diversified and doesn't fit one style in particular and there is always a sense of urgency and a lot of passion in the delivery. They tackle a lot of dark subjects in their songs in a pretty direct manner and I've got a feeling a lot of people will identify to them.



My only question is, how can a song like "Daddy" that deals with such a dark subject be so damn catchy ?

madrigal30
February 25th 2019


228 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

No idea Bazaar, but I fucking LOVE this record. Something about Josh Katz, man. I heard their Temper EP and I was hooked

dmathias52
February 26th 2019


826 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Promise Me is absolutely phenomenal. That chorus is one of the best that I've heard in a long time. I could see these guys becoming huge.

smb
February 26th 2019


3 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

holy shit. this is way better than I anticipated. wasn't sure how to feel about tracks like x ANA x, but that changed quickly after 24, Heroin, Promise Me, We're In Love, and Daddy. fucks sake. this is fantastic.



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