Goth Reviews: The Badlees

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May 30, 2010

The Badlees LOVE IS RAIN (S.A.M. Records) http://www.badlees.com

Goth Woman:
After a six year hiatus, The Badlees pick right up with they left off. Fans who have followed their progression from 1990 onward will be pleased. Of course, the band members kept their chops up on side projects, but we wondered if they could get it up again as a band. No fear.

Spike: On their 2002 album, RENEW, they kept their Americana-rock sound going, but branched out with a little Philly-Soul and other idioms without killing us with eclecticism. On LOVE IS RAIN, the core Badlees-sound remains, this time with a nod towards classic British Rock. The top of “Drive Back Home,” for example, recalls Ray Davies or John Lennon before vamping into a Badlees rocker.

Goth Woman: “Starthrower” is in the “Abbey Road zone.” On this project, bassist Paul Smith (the John Paul Jones of the band) has injected more Mellotron and synthesizer, yet it’s a compliment to Bret Alexander’s guitar—which gets better with age. Ditto for the still-endearing voice of Pete Palladino. He’s come a long way from his post-grunge 90s style, with fresh dynamics, wider range, and he’s grabbing the words with new articulation.

Spike: You can really hear that Mellotron on “Part of a Rainbow,” which is also Beatles-ish. Ron Simasek is one of the great stickmen of rock, and in the mix he sounds like a cross between Stan Lynch and Ringo Starr.

Goth Woman:
Another winner from The Badlees…we’re glad they’re still at it!

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