Full-Empty

The JudyBats

Sire Records, 1994

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Judybats

REVIEW BY: Pete Crigler

ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED: 01/05/2017

Well, here it is, the coup de grace for the Judybats, a band clearly on their last legs. Reduced to working with a producer because of his inexpensiveness, lame songwriting, and infighting within the band, they delivered their fourth record in four years. And dear God, it is a fiasco! Even the disc’s two singles, “Sorry Counts” and “What We Lose,” are unmemorable and superbly weak. my_heart_sings_the_harmony_web_ad_alt_250

There are some longtime Judybats fans that love this record, but I am not among that crowd. This is an album clearly lacking in charm, from a band seemingly on autopilot, just cruising through the material in order to get it done.

“Drought” is one of the few songs here that has any real life to it, and that’s mainly due to Jeff Heiskell and his always entertaining vocals. There are so many hooks and melodies that could’ve been added in order to make this record better than it is. But even the musicianship got weaker here. Upon listening again, it isn’t as crappy overall as I remember the first time, but it has not gotten any better in the time since.

“In This Maroon” is just too damn slow for its own good and never really goes anywhere to drag itself out of the doldrums. “Stupid-Cute” tries its best to be a rocker but doesn’t have the same appeal as some of their better rockers; it’s just another song that falls on its face. Even a cut like “Liquid,” which has some potential, doesn’t get close to meeting it. Don’t even get me started on the appalling, piece of crap cover of the Bee Gees’ “Jive Talkin’.” This is one of the worst covers I’ve ever heard.

This record, while terrible, is not the worst record to be released in the ‘90s by a major-label alternative rock band. But it is pretty damn close. In the years since, Jeff Heiskell has pretty much disowned the whole record. A record best left to the trash heap of rock history.

Rating: D-

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