It’s easy to know how to categorize a band like Too Bad. This Venice Beach musical two-some consisting of Gerry Saint & Jason Napier who just released their latest release entitled “Permission to Land” late in 2012. “Permission to Land” is one of the more upbeat, funny, quirky and brightly flavored rock releases I’ve heard this year. It’s not so dark and apocalyptic steeped in the fog of shock rock but it does have a small dose of Blur inserted. This 8 track release has got some sold melodies and impressive musicianship to boot — which is a rarity in today music. Not only are these guys excellent musicians, their contributions to the writing and arrangements of the songs have been of paramount importance-which is to say nothing of the infections and contagious chemistry they both share live. I especially like the eye candy theses guys bring to their live shows — brilliant guys! Some would say there’s also nothing really new her that hasn’t been done before per say, but don’t let that fool you. This latest CD will remind you of The Gorillaz, They Might Be Giants, and yes even classic Blur to The Red Hot Chili Peppers. It’s not moody or too serious; it’s quite the opposite evident from the outset within the first few seconds of Track 1: “Love Undercover” and Track 2 “Up & Down” which are both superlative numbers. The Saint /Napier dream team are 2 great rock revivalists, that others (like myself) will lobby hard for. These 2 can sing, write and play well. Music is a masterful combination of Alternative Rock with a bit of modern Electronic Rock. Music and lyrics are all rich in humor laced satire poking fun at the world and full of casual observations. As vocalist both recall the higher-registries as well and mesh well together harmoniously. Too Bad have a solid sound that reminds me of both old school Psychedelic rock with a modern day feel. Tack 3 “Hop Scotch” is another hilarious piece with vocal tandems that really tag team the point across. ”Into You” develops well into top flight melodic phrasing and thickly laced harmonies. Some tracks are more pop-inflected however all are alt-rock driven rather than the typical synth-pop posturing we’ve all come to expect. All of this plays into Too Bad’s unique sensibility and comical spin on the world that can jar even the most staunch of listeners. While it’s easy enough to imagine how wonderful a CD like “Permission to Land” is you really have to hear it for yourself via the below BANDCAMP link
It’s safe to say much of today’s Rock is made up entirely of yawning ambient beats, sparse musicianship and superficial vocals. Some of these intangibles reflect the artists themselves and the state of the music industry itself. Much of it is built of a house of cards that has become the quintessential pop persona. Where am I going with all this? None of the above applies to Too Bad because what you see is what you get. No smoke and mirrors just real good and quirky music that hits hard with a fresh approach to an old school rock n’ roll foundation. To Bad is an impressive release from a very likable duo. In the end it’s great to see 2 guys lighten up a bit, let down their hair and let her rip.
Erica Reynolds edited by Markus Druery
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