Drug Phase

Bad Luck

Take This To Heart Records, 2019

http://www.takethistoheartrecords.com/artists/badluck

REVIEW BY: Tom Haugen

ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED: 04/22/2019

Though Bad Luck began as a solo outlet from Long Island, it wasn't long until a full band version existed in Florida, anchored by brothers Dominick and Joe Fox. Now the group is back in New York after a couple of well received albums in 2014 and 2015. After a period of inactivity, my_heart_sings_the_harmony_web_ad_alt_250 Drug Phase revisits their raw pop-punk spirit that's as hard hitting as it is memorable.

“Impressive Depressive” gets off to a dense start with crashing percussion and a mix of singing versus yelping while the melodic undertones just bleed punk rock grittiness. Somewhere between pop punk, alt rock, and raw rock 'n’ roll, it's a glorious start that sets the pace for the quick listen.

“Mean Dudes” follows and recruits total anthemic pop punk, the sort that made Drive-Thru Records a household name in the early 2000s; Bad Luck wears it well with furious drum fills and clever guitar work. “Drug Phase” gets a little more charged and abrasive, somewhat like Hot Rod Circuit on steroids while still bringing the hooks and melodica in spades.

The back half of the EP is just as great, with the hand clapping fun of “Sheep Song” that deftly  explores more pop influences musically while the singing gets a bit more coarse. And speaking of coarse, “Wish We Still Talked” is another vocally forceful offering of buzzing guitar work and a fiery rhythm section, and “P.S. Wiffle Ball” ends the listen with some whistling on an acoustic ballad that's warm, jangly and a more bare illustration of their talent.

Bad Luck's prior work, Cold Bones and Noise In Your Head, were criminally overlooked records that all fans of Taking Back Sunday, My Chemical Romance, or even Hot Water Music will be enamored with. This new effort contains six of their best tunes to date. Although they're most known in punk circles, Drug Phase will appeal to anyone with an ear for strong melody, memorable choruses, and genuine, spirited rock 'n' roll.

Rating: A-

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