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They’re not standing around the watercooler, but Cheryl Sadler, Mark Meszoros, Mark Podolski and Nicole Franz are talking about what they’ve been watching, listening to and playing during their free time.

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Bad Books: Self-titled

Projects like these don’t come along that often.

Often times, you’ll see two rappers collaborate to make a full album, but rarely do you see it in the rock genre.

Bad Books, a band that consists of all five Manchester Orchestra members and solo artist Kevin Devine, released their debut, 10-song self-titled album on Tuesday.

I’ve been dangerously obsessed with Manchester Orchestra since I first heard of them a little more than a year ago, when I saw them open up twice for Brand New in a span of two months. I’ve never considered myself a fan of Devine, but have always respected him as he is closely associated with Brand New. He too normally opens for Brand New on their tours and is good friends with the band’s lead singer, Jesse Lacey.

And after all, if you’re in good with Brand New, you’re in good with me.

Bad Books started as a side project between Manchester Orchestra’s lead singer Andy Hull and Devine, but eventually Hull’s full band joined in on the fun. They insist their debut album isn’t a one and done project and have plans to release several other albums and at the pace they work at, follow-ups could be soon as this album was created in just a few short months.

At 10 songs, Bad Books have created a pretty short album, and actually, by far the best song on the album, “You Wouldn’t Have To Ask,” is less than two minutes long.

It’s a bit hard to describe the sound of Bad Books. It’s not too far off what a normal Manchester Orchestra song or Kevin Devine song may sound like who both incorporate an indie, almost folk-like rock sound into their music.

“You Wouldn’t Have to Ask” and “Please Move,” are the two best songs on the album, both of which have been floating around on the internet for the past three months.

“Baby Shoes,” sung by Hull by himself, sounds like a soft Nirvana song and “You’re a Mirror I Cannot Avoid” sung by Devine sounds eerily similar to Death Cab for Cutie’s “I Will Follow You Into the Dark.”

The tone of the album is soft without being too dark, but maybe a little too soft. There’s not too much electric guitar on the album at all. Many of the songs feature Hull and Devine layering vocals on top of each other throughout the entire song. Their voices compliment each other well and they sound like they’ve been making music together for a while now.

Bad Books debut album is good, but I suspect their best work is yet to come. In the meantime, Manchester Orchestra’s third full-length album, Simple Math, will hit stores in March 2011.

This should hold me over until then.

-Nick Carrabine


Blogger Chissy said...

love bad books! so awesome

November 12, 2010 at 6:23 PM 
Anonymous Jordan said...

Love it! Make sure to get their new album if you haven't already.... loving it!!

November 15, 2010 at 4:51 AM 

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