Fireworks

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Bad City - 'Welcome To The Wasteland' http://rocktopia.co.uk/media/reviews/photos/thumbnail/200x200s/93/aa/20/893_BadCityWelcometoTheWasteland_1293140922.jpg Hot

Added by Central Electronic Brain     December 23, 2010    
 
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“We just want to bring back the fun to the genre”, the band tell us. Mission accomplished, guys!

Well, colour me surprised! It’s not often I get hit straight between the eyes by a band I have never heard of – especially one that seems to have the backing of a major label – in this case, Atlantic Records. Listening to Bad City’s debut is like the last 25 years never happened, being a wonderful smorgasbord of everything that delighted about melodic metal from LA in the 80s. Part sleaze, part glam, part metal, all class, wrapped up in a wonderful production courtesy of Johnny K (Sevendust, Staind) that deliberately eschews modern digital techniques to capture that genuine 80’s vibe, whilst strangely remaining current and vibrant. As guitarist Tom Schleiter explained, “The point isn’t to be retro, it’s to embody the spirit of what rock ‘n’ roll bands used to be like before things got so boring and safe.” And in this, they admirably succeed.

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Whether it’s the Motley Crue flavoured sleaze rock of ‘Wildlife’, the Bowling For Soup infused ‘Take Me For A Ride’ - which reminds me so much of ‘1984’, which is really quite a bit of a time-loop headfuck when you think about it – or songs like ‘Straight to the Grave’ and ‘Heatwave’ which stand up beside the best of European glam/sleaze bands like Crashdiet and Reckless Love, this album just oozes attitude and fun. Elsewhere we have the blatant Queen harmony intro to ‘Do You Believe In Rock N Roll’ which then dissolves into prime time Johnny Lima, and the emotional heart-string pulling ballad ‘Fire In The Pouring Rain’, for which you really can picture the swaying arms held aloft, lighters aflame like a sea of dancing fireflies. But the band’s ace [Frehley] in the pack is the simply wonderful ‘Call Paul Stanley’, the track that first got me introduced to the band. Never mind that the song opens with such a Hooters steal (one of my favourite bands), but the crafty boys then go and execute such a wonderful ploy to great effect – the double chorus. No simple bridge here – the Desmond Child flavoured first chorus hits you straight between the ears, but then the song is lifted even higher when driving immediately into the second chorus, resulting in a song which is so incredibly infectious and catchy that one listen will immediately convince you that these guys have what it takes. Pure genius, and a song which would appear tailor-made for encore performances, crowd sing-along part duly inserted.

“We just want to bring back the fun to the genre”, the band tell us. Mission accomplished, guys. And with Atlantic Records behind them, I really hope Bad City can go on to bigger and better things. I hate ending reviews like this, but for once the words are said with total conviction – highly recommended!

Bruce Mee

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