Ligeia – Bad News


Band: Ligeia
Album: Bad News
Genre: Hardcore/Metal
Label: Ferret

Tracks:

1. Bad News
2. Johnny Cash
3. I’ve Been Drinking
4. Hot Mess
5. One Night Stand
6. Teenage Wasteland
7. Interlude
8. Bombshell
9. Heroin Diaries
10. Thanks For Nothing
11. Hoodrat

If there’s anything you’ve learned by looking at our reviews, it should be this: Ferret means Brutal Rock and Roll. This has been shown through every band we’ve covered and so needless to say, when Ligeia’s Bad News arrived, I was more than anxious to see what Ferret had prepared for us this time around. These Massachusetts natives have delivered an album full of frustration and anger that though well produced still feels raw and fresh. There’s a storm brewing in the heavy music genre and Ligeia is the thunder.

“Bad News,” the title track, kicks things off with sheer fury. From the raw sound of feedback fading in, the band leaps into a pulsing rage with vocals that mix Death Before Dishonor gruffness with Every Time I Die melody. This mix proves to be explosive and the chugging jsut hits you so perfectly that you’re instantly hooked into the album. The track ends really creatively by almost decomposing as they have everything slow and drop out until we’re left with just a simple beat and a moment to breathe. This is followed by the slightly more relaxed, though still driving, “Johnny Cash.” The distortion in the guitars mixed with the rough screams is a solid mix and the drums come in just perfectly to accompany the cleaner sounding singing parts. Think Corey on Norma Jean’s latest release and that’s about how the sounds are here. I don’t know how to explain it, but on this album you just get this vision of a band working hard in a dirty club. The chugging guitars, thick bass, and punding drums sound cut from stone and it’s jus so approachable. Which is unusual in this genre. The next song, “I’ve Been Drinking,” has fan favorite written all over it. From the great rhythm, to the simple to follow lyrics; this song was meant for live crowds to lose their minds to. There’s even some dj scratching on the track that appears briefly, but seems to fit quite well.

If you ever wanted a song to incite a riot, the beginning of, “Hot Mess,” is where you need to look. It starts like the blast of a shotgun, but breaks for moments of subtlety and a soaring chorus. It’s possibly the best structured song the entire album has to offer. Once again, the lyrics reflect drinking, which is getting a bit redundant, but with such great composition, it’s hard to care. The track blends perfectly into the near straight on rock track, “One Night Stand.” The drums shine here, but the vocals fall hard in my book. It seems so out of the oridinary for the flow of the labum adn the mix feels a bit off. Almost as if the bass has been turned up and the guitars are under the tom drums. It just didn’t settle right with me. “Teenage Wasteland,” however, comes back to kick the last song in the testicles and bring back the rock to the album. This track has quite a negative outlook to it, but the vocal samples and near gang vocal inducing chorus is too great to turn down.

“Interlude,” the follow up track, just falls flat. I’m usually into these little transition tracks, but this just has no reason to be on the album, at least not at this point. Then, “Bombshell,” has a very laid back vibe that starts great, but gets old. I feel like Ligeia is once again going for something catchy and it just doesn’t work well with the rest of the album or the sound the band seems to want to push forward. I’m not saying they have to be heavy 24/7, but the tracks need to work together. There is a few moments in the bridge that show some hope for the song, but it doesn’t last long enough to save it. “Heroin Diaries,” which begins perfectly off the end of the previous song, is acosutic. Now, I know that sounds strange, but Ligeia finally get that soft sound right with this one. The guitar work is perfect and the production isn’t super clean which makes it feel that much more real. It’s simple, but will stick with you for some time.

For the final two tracks Ligeia makes sure we leave with a smile on our face and, if these were played live, some bruises from the pit. “Thanks For Nothing,” feels like old hardcore with just a hint of metal. Vocally, everything is deeper and more gutteral, but it works well. The drums are standouts once again and the accented guitar work in the verses just gives the song a good flow. Be sure to check out the final breakdown here, it’s epic. This then leads us to the closer, “Hoodrat.” This song fades into a driving beat with technical guitar lines and ferocious vocals that just make you move. Seriously, I was sitting when I wrote this and as the song came on I stopped writing and just threw down in my chair. The lyrical content is hilarious, but the music is serious. I can’t imagine these guys not loving what they’re doing after hearing a song like this and it leaves you both smiling and sweaty from moving so much. It’s the perfect seal to an album that’s taken us on quite a journey.

Ligeia isn’t the freshest sound on the planet. Many times the band sounds almost too much like Every Time I Die, but that means nothing when we discuss how good they are. Bad News finds the band exploring some new territory and finding what works. This leads to a few mess ups and forgettable tracks, but overall, this one is a keeper. The heavy music scene is so flooded with bands that it’s hard to stand out, but even with the comparisons, Ligeia makes their mark with this album. I wouldn’t be surprised in the least to see this band blow up. I mean huge. When you explore, you’re bound to make a few mistakes, but you still give credit for those mistakes. Also, the tracks that work [the majority of the disc] are amazing. Listen in: This is the sound of what’s to come in the heavy music scene.

*Written By: James Shotwell*

GRADE: 7.5/10

James Shotwell

James Shotwell is the founder of Under The Gun Review. He loves writing about music and movies almost as much as he loves his two fat cats. He's also the co-founder of Antique Records and the Marketing Coordinator for Haulix. You should probably follow him on Twitter.

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