Bad Sign will release their monstrous debut album Live & Learn on July 14th through Basick Records. The London based trio have toured heavily since the release of their EP Destroy in 2014. The varying bands that they have toured with may well have played a part on the sound of this album, as it is packed full of massive hulking riffs whilst the vocal melodies are built on undeniable hooks.
The album opens with Liars & Lovers, the slow build leads you into the massive riff that is such a key characteristic of this album. The riff has you tapping along and the vocals singing along, the track is a great opener for what’s to come. With the heaviness of the riffs on this album you don’t expect the vocal styles of Joe Appleford. His vocals are slow and brooding at times which offer a great contrast to the aforementioned riffs. Whilst not always heavy the vocals maintain an aura of intensity, and this allows for easy introductions of heavier vocals, particularly on songs such as Covenant and Intermission. It’s on Intermission where a more hardcore, mosh style of both riff and vocals come into play, something that should translate brilliantly live.
The album isn’t entirely heavy with songs such as Closure and October offering up slower options as a nice contrast to the typically heavy riffs of the album. October itself is a brilliant precursor to one of the best songs on the album Attrition. The track is the most expansive song on the album and while it starts in a similar vein to October and Closure, it builds to an intense finale capped off by another hulking riff. Closing the album is Paramnesia which sees the album close in a slightly more melodic way than it started, with an acoustic guitar and repetition of the chorus finishing the song.
This a statement of a debut album from Bad Sign. If hadn’t already noticed from the review the album is based around undeniable riffs, which coupled with the intelligent and unique vocals of Joe Appleford, create a brilliant British rock debut that puts Bad Sign right into the mix of the brilliant crop of new bands this country has to offer. On one final note, producer Neil Kennedy deserves a lot of credit for the brilliant job he did with this album.