The combined talents of Brooklyn singer-songwriter extraordinaire Kevin Devine and Atlanta's modern rock gods Manchester Orchestra have proved to be a match made in heaven since they formed Bad Books a couple years ago. With their self-titled debut being a huge hit amongst indie rockers everywhere, Bad Books is back like a force of nature with their second album that's simply titled II. Great melancholy rock & roll that has powerful chord progressions that will blow you away right when you press play, you gotta love it when such awesome talents come together once again to make beautifully eclectic tunes that anyone can groove to.
With most of the recording process being improvised, the band's wing it approach pays off with a great variety of track encompassing the album. It shows a bunch of accomplished artists gelling together to create something eye-opening and original, like if Jackson Pollack and Salvador Dali collaborated to paint up a masterpiece to treat the eyes. Bad Books' II is like a hot fudge caramel sundae for the ears, resonating with infectious lyrics and a no holds barred approach that's as dynamic as it is groundbreaking. After the first riff you'll be entered into a world filled with nothing but a bunch of head bopping and rejoicing to the rhythms.
- Rob Duguay
Here's that time again, the moment of truth, where hearts get broken and all the ladies get turned on like a jet engine of a Boeing 737. I will make my best attempt to analyze Bad Books' II to the fullest, while picking my favorite tracks. Well, here goes something: "The After Party" sets the tone, it's not too heavy, not too soft and a perfect starting track for the album. "No Reward" is my favorite track, with Devine's angst-filled voice combined with 60's pop aesthetics to create a sensational song. "Forest Whitaker" is the first single off the album, with synth beats invading the track with Andy Hull singing about how life can frustrate the hell out of you to the point that you end up hating your best friends. "Friendly Advice" brings together Devine's trademark lo-fi guitar chords and Hull's somber voice accented by a killer drum beat that is the backbone for the song. "No Sides" is a classic alt-rock song that reminds me of bands like Pavement and Built To Spill, a few hand claps to go along with the guitars also make it pretty unique. Now just because I selected a few tracks doesn't mean you shouldn't check out Bad Books' II for yourself, get up off your ass and do what your told.
Bad Books will be doing a small our of the west coast, southwest and southeast of the United States starting on October 9th at The Bottom of The Hill in San Francisco and concluding the expedition at The Masquerade in Atlanta on October 19th. On October 14th, Bad Books will be playing the legendary Austin City Limits Music Festival on October 14th that anybody and everybody should head to, a great time is guaranteed to be had. Unfortunately for us New England live music knuckleheads Bad Books won't be playing in our neck of the woods anytime soon, but until then grab a copy of Bad Books' II. It's something you owe to your ears and to yourself.
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