Album Review: Bad Moves – “Tell No One”

Posted: by The Editor

September 21st, 2018 was an awesome day for music fans. With so many albums of note dropping (Brockhampton, Joyce Manor, & Christine and the Queens just to name a few) it’s a fool’s errand to try and check out every album released on any given day, even in the era of streaming. DC punk rockers Bad Moves dropped their debut LP Tell No One on this very same day, and I’m hoping it doesn’t get swept under the rug, because I’ve yet to find a song that I dislike on it. From the 90s sounding “Out Of Reach” to the wild, untamable, album opener “Change Your Mind”, there’s a little something for everyone on Tell No One; A dance, a headbang, a sing-along.

The energetic and evocative “Change Your Mind” sets a funky-pop tone for this record, immediately showing off the bands indie punk finesse. Sliding right into “One Thing,” turning the powerhouse vibes of the previous song into mellow rock, the lyrics “I got this one thing I don’t tell no one” are indulged in a catchy, heavy spirit. The first couple of songs on this record melt into one another, sounding completely different, but giving off the same vibes. For instance, “Cool Generator” picks up where the previous track ends, opening up a completely brand new space for striking drums and dazzling group vocals. It’s refreshing to have such an energetic collective slide my way, and I’m so glad they did.

“Spirit FM” incidentally reminds me of a late summer radio jam. Word of advice: do not listen to any of these songs in a situation where it’s socially unacceptable to start dancing–for instance–a university library. “Spirit FM” carries itself with an especially fun hook, patched together with electric guitar riffs that accentuate the tracks chanted lyrics.

The perfect pick me up on a lonely day, I hold the lyrics to “Give It a Shot” in high regard. Driven by punk, the message begs you to ask “why?” to questions that aren’t usually thought about. At a time in my life when I need to start asking and stop other things, this mid-album jam adds space for reflection.

The last couple of tracks on Tell No One have a calmer demeanor to them. Without losing their punch or impact, “Shut Your Eyes” and “Vessels” put forward a more indie attitude, with the latter picking up immensely with some pretty sick bass action. Dazzling and twinkling, “Wishing” is my favorite track because of how different it sounds. Anything with a quiet, lo-fi sound I immediately cling to, and this one is brilliantly done. It hits precisely when you need it to. Closing with “Missing You”, a definitive, exploratory song about reflection, it’s safe to say that this album was meticulously sequenced. Every song is a defining moment, leaving no room for predictability. The leaps and bounds Bad Moves have made on this LP are remarkable, and Tell No One is a wonderful record to begin autumn with.

Disappointing / Average / Good / Great / Phenomenal

Tell No One is out now via Don Giovanni Records. You can order it on Digital/CD/LP here.

Kayla Carmichael | @kaylacarmicheal

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