Review Summary: An intriguing album by a young rock band that has loads of potential. They just need to grow up a little.
The world of mainstream rock is a very boring and stale one. You go to flip on a rock station and get Imagine Dragons, Twenty One Pilots, and decade old tracks from horrible washed up post-grunge bands. It's depressing, truly. That being said, anytime a new band gets rotation on rock radio, it can be an exciting thing. Well, rock radio has recently taken to the track "Ghost"
by a band called Badflower. Badflower are a Calfornia based rock quartet that really came out of nowhere. They dropped one EP back in 2018, and then their debut album not even a month ago, yet they already have over one million monthy listeners on Spotify. That's a lot of hype for a new band, and by the low standards set by mainstream rock I can say they deserve it, but they need to change a few things if they really wanna be more than just a good radio rock band.
Let's go ahead and get the negative stuff out of the way though, because there is a fair amount of it. First of all, this album way overstays it's welcome. It has 13 tracks, and it's 55 minutes long. That leaves the song averages at 4 minutes and some change. There's nothing wrong with long songs, but this band works best when they're catchy and attenion grabbing. A lot of the tracks on here just meander on and build up to a climax that never really happens or is insignificant when it does. An instance of this that comes to mind is the track "24"
. There're also some cringeworthy moments here. Some of the cursing on this record, especially in the first half seems a bit unnecessary. There're some parts where they straight up sound like kids who just started cussing and don't know how to use it properly yet. Instead of displaying emotion, it feels like their lead singer is screaming in my ear, "Look what I just said bro!" It gets overly theatric at points too, but most of the time they don't have the talent to back it up. It's reminiscent of the problems My Chemical Romance had, in that their music is way over the top lyrically and vocally to try and hide the fact that their isn't really that much going on. A big example of this is the opening track x ANA x
, which could've been a decent song about struggling with drug abuse, but it comes off like a tacky, self-centered mess... I should also mention that the most popular track from the album "Ghost"
isn't good. It's a mess of shallow and pandering lyrics about self-harm that I see right through.
Also like My Chemical Romance, it's not all bad. In fact, some of it is really good. Their vocalist has a nice high range singing voice and a very throaty yell. Sometimes the guitars will get a nice fuzzed out rollick to them that's very reminiscent of garage rock, and the production on this thing is pretty nice. It also has a very clear liberal agenda, which is a plus for me, even though it might not be for others. If a few songs had been cut from this I could see giving it a higher score. There are two specific highlights on the album i'd like to point out. The first is "Promise Me"
. This track is an insanely fun anthem about wanting to stay young forever and wanting to never lose your spirit. I think this should've been the track to get popular from this album. I could genuinally see this playing on the radio. It's catchy, it's fun, and it has a massive sing along chorus. The second track I'd like to talk about is called "Daddy"
and is easily the best track on the album. I'm not a fan of trigger warnings, but if I were ever to put a trigger warning on anything, it'd be this song. Put bluntly, the song is about a girl who gets raped by her father as a child... There isn't much I can say for these lyrics, so I'll let them speak for themself. Here's the second verse.
"Now he returns, like every time
With rum on his breath, and her on his mind
There's no one around to witness the crime
A scream won't sound past the property line
The man that she loves, the wicked offense
She takes the attention, suppresses the rest
Emotion and pain, it can't be disguised
The smaller she feels, the bigger she cries"
This song also has a fantastic ending, but I'm not going to spoil it, because It's really something you have to experience. This will probably go down as one of my favorite songs of the year. If you listen to one thing from this album, make it this song.
As it stands though, this album is just okay. However, it is their debut album and there is boat loads of potential here. I'm damn happy they're getting a lot of attention, cause whether you like it or not, we need fresh blood lke this to keep rock alive, even if it's not all good, it's certainly better than the bull*** we've been dealing with. If these guys focus their energy into making their next LP as good as those two songs I mentioned earlier I'll be damn happy to call myself a fan as well.