Review: Bad Guys – S/T

It’s hardly surprising to read that Bad Guys have previously shared a lineup with Finland’s euphoric krautrock collective, Circle. Both bands share a knack for wafting both menace and shit-eating glee out of their amplifiers simultaneously, pushing psychedelia through spewed granite. It’s like paint bubbling up through cracks in concrete; like teeth gritted in the midst of gigantic smiles, ecstasy born from relentlessly excessive volume.

“My Love Is Disgusting” brings it all together rather neatly. At the centre is hard groove of powerchord and hammered snare, with guitars bouncing and jerking in and outside of the beat. Repeatedly, the rhythm breaks down – collapsing into whispers and birdsong or crumpling into feedback and tumbling cymbals – as if momentarily recuperating the energy required to maintain the band’s explosive forward motion. Naturally, each return of the core motif is a rapturous cause for celebration.

It’s the sound of a band that probably present themselves most effectively in the performance environment, yet the four-piece also understand how the recorded format opens doors to which the live setting has no access: sudden changes in sonic location, dramatic mid-track overhauls of guitar tone, an unimpeded quantity of guitar layers. None of this is used to excess though, and even as Bad Guys swagger from “Hurl”s pounding, slow-motion introduction into a dazzling mid-section of tapped guitar leads and kaleidoscopic delay, I can see how these tracks could easily rip up a basement show just as successfully as they rupture the imagination on disc.