Reviews Bad Sports Bras

Bad Sports

Bras

Bad Sports want you to turn it up. They play loud rock, rooted in the elements, but not tied to rollicking times or anti-authority volume, but taking that foundation and blending it with a fundamental structure that pulls from The Ramones and draws melodic ideas from the genres forefathers in the 1960s. It’s got that Ramones-y repetition/simplicity (“Let Me In”), the lovelorn melody of the 1960s (“Free Spirit”), and some turn-it-up r’n’r (“Eddie Bender”).

With all that influence, it begs the question if it’s original or derivative, and fortunately for Bad Sports, it ain’t. A great case in point comes with “Terrible Place,” which pulls all the elements references above into a single song while the refrain “I’m in a terrible place/I’m in hell” gives its own tone of frustration with an underlying acceptance. They aren’t exactly optimists, with titles like “Nothing in this World” and “Terrible Place.” They tend to take a direct idea and restate it throughout a song, turning clever phrases and exploring the idea within a pop context: catchy, but not finding any resolution in the process. Instead it’s relatable, just familiar enough to stick and then, bam, onto the next idea. A favorite line comes in “Rich Kid City”: “I’m a hungry man in a fat man’s city.”

Compared with their debut, Kings of the Weekend, the Ramones influence has subsided and the songwriting’s expanded. The highlights of the last one came largely in bouncy rhythm and memorable choruses while Bras brings things a little deeper. The song structures have a little more fullness and instead of picking up for a singalong in the middle, they grab at the start of the song and bring through a range of emotions over the course of the 2-3 minute songs. They never blast with speed and they temper the aggressive moments, instead letting that rise-and-fall action tell the story and allowing the art to pull the listener in at his/her own interpretation. All, of course, with some pretty blunt choruses that are still reminiscent of those New York gods whose name has already appeared in this review too many times (though there are other 1970s New Yorkers influencing this as well). The guitar heavy stuff here is still the most interesting, with “Nothing in This World” standing out among the pack. With their second album Bad Sports have stepped it up a notch as a band to watch. There are still a few swing and miss songs that don’t really capitalize on their energy, such as “Race to the Bottom” or “Free Spirit” but, as a whole, it’s a solid record that’s elevated the group.

7.4 / 10Loren
See also

https://www.facebook.com/pages/Bad-Sports/117644598247026

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