Album Review: Bad//Dreems – ‘Gutful’
Posted: by Steven Lalonde
My first ever write up for this site was back in May of 2016, when I wrote a “5 Bands You Need To Listen To,” in which I wrote about this very band, Bad//Dreems and I stand by what I said. The Australian garage-punk rockers impressed me with their 2015 release Dogs at Bay; a top-to-bottom rock album that recounted stories of the everyday life/experiences in their hometown of Adelaide. The album was as catchy as it was memorable for me, and now with Gutful the quartet continue down their path, but this time broadenig their range.
Bad//Dreems isn’t a subtle band. The sophomore album from the Adelaide group is a no-frills, honest, in your face album that doesn’t conform to what society wants music to sound like. The album opens with the track “Johnny Irony.” The track hooks listeners in with a satisfying guitar riff. The albums first single “Mob Rule” deals with the rising racial tensions in Australia and how the complexities of the modern world are “compressed with tweets and hashtags.” Guitarist Alex Cameron explained this in a recent interview on MUSICFEED. “Mob Rule” might easily a favourite track on the album with a pounding drum intro leading into a shouted chorus that begs to be shouted back, making for a solid punk rock track.
Title track “Gutful” proves to be the most straight to the point album, containing the lyrics “Had a gutful of your speed and coke, had a gutful of your racist jokes, had a gutful of Australia Day, had a gutful of the USA, had a gutful of Donald Trump, had a gutful of your baby bump.” All of this basically encompasses the main rhetoric present in and out through the entire album. Much of the brashness is elucidated via the music. Hard riffs, pulsating drum/bass lines carry the emotion onward in a complementary approach that only seems to get louder and heightened as the album progresses.
But not all of it is brash protest rock. Tracks such as “By My Side,” “Make You Love Me” and “1000 Miles Away” all fill in the album with some nice moments sonically; providing a sense of ease and relief in a manner that the maybe shows that yes, the world is shitty, but there is still good out there.
The album clocks in at 38 minutes, and it flies by, demonstrating the band’s ability for classic free flowing sing along punk songs. If the riffs and assertiveness don’t catch your attention, then maybe it’s not for you. By no means are Bad//Dreems the protest rock heroes we need in these times, but it’s nice to relate to people who’ve also had a gutful of the same shit we all have to put up with.
Favourite Tracks: “Mob Rule”, “Johnny Irony”, “Nice Guy”
Steven Lalonde – @StevenLalonde