So, have you heard this band BAD SEED RISING yet? I only recently boarded the train about a month ago, and it is moving at damn near warp speed. With several EPs, and some big tours like Warped already under their belts, this extremely talented group of youngsters are making fans of hard rock sit up and take notice everywhere and anywhere, and converting them to their cause at each stop along the way. And now, on September 30 they are poised to release their debut full-length album Awake In Color via Roadrunner Records, and album it is already a favorite of 2016.
I was fortunate that the record showed up while I was at work because I was able to plug it in and play it on a day that had a significant amount of down time so I could really absorb it. Normally, on the first listen I’ll think to myself, “OK, pretty good so far. When’s the clunker track coming? Any minute now the other shoe should drop.” But that’s the thing…it never did. Ten songs, and every single one of them could be a megahit at rock radio, whether it’s terrestrial or SiriusXM. From opener “What Have We Done?” to next number “Dexies” the band doesn’t lose a step.
“I Can Feel You”, believe it or not, reminded me of EYES SET TO KILL, another band I’m a big fan of. Francheska Pastor has quite the voice on her, and the big hooks are perfectly suited for her considerable talents. Mason Gainer clearly went to the school for Catchy/Heavy Guitar Riffs, and the rhythm section of Aiden Marceron (drums) and Louey Peraza (bass) holds it all together nicely. “30” straddles the line between rock and alternative, with subject matter that is very heavy and mature for a group so young.
But the album’s best offering comes in the form of “Obvious”, one of those tunes I have to play six to eight times in a row before I can move on. Here the intensity is cranked up, with a 1-2-3, 2-2-3 back-and-forth drum tempo set against some pretty fiery lyrics, chunky bass lines and massive guitars. If this isn’t a single at some point, somebody at the label can kiss their Christmas bonus goodbye because this will be an error of Bill Buckner-esque proportions. “Fighting Gravity” has an electro-pop feel to it, but it’s not sugary or sweet, and the groove is very alluring.
Another favorite right away was “Sleeping In Cars” which blends the hard rock and electronics seamlessly, just one of several cuts that proves this band is no one-trick pony. And then completely out of left field comes “I Believe (It’s Killing Me)”, which is completely synth-driven. This coupled with Pastor’s emotional delivery provides an air of yearning and once again showcases a maturity in songwriting I guarantee none of their peers could muster in a million years. “Spirits” is at the same time big on the refrains while haunting on the verses.
Closer “Horizons’ is another one that had me abusing the REPEAT button. The chorus is uplifting and when it’s over you want to hear it again because it MAKES you feel good, which is always the mark of a great song. But truthfully, you could binge on all of the songs on Awake In Color all day long and never tire of them. Each and every one is outstanding, and with this record BAD SEED RISING have set the bar incredibly high. I loved every minute of this disc, and I think you will too. The future looks very bright for them…very bright indeed. Can’t recommend this one enough, and I also can’t wait to see what their live show is like!
STANDOUT TRACKS: ALL OF THEM