By Bad For Lazarus
'Old Rats On A New Ship,' the debut single from Bright-based Bad For Lazarus, is a juddering stomp that's torn between a cool, quirky indie shimmy and a grubby, sleazy rock and roll swagger. Driven by a single-minded drum line, it's a stylish rumble, flecked here and there with awkwardly-shaped chords that give 'Old Rats...' a spiky edge. It's lurching, shrapnel-edged indie-rock with a cocksure swagger and an impressively confident debut.
However, those choruses are a potential deal breaker, as all that perfectly put-together quirkiness is lost in a swamp of distortion. While this sludgy sound does play into the grunge vibe subtly present in the verses, Bad For Lazarus definitely lose their angular, edgy cool here.
While the verses are far from perfect, they're an intriguing tin-man-esque lurch that'll pique your interest and might just encourage you to keep an ear out for future Bad For Lazarus material. Shame about the choruses, though.
B-side 'Kemptown Animal' has a manic gleam in its eye, as keyboards skid, slide and reel through jigging guitars in a carnival-inspired riot. Bad For Lazarus also pull a neat trick, with riffs that are turned down so low, they almost purr. Those free-wheeling keyboard strains and purring guitars, will stick resolutely in your frontal lobe and will get you wondering why Bad For Lazarus selected this as their b-side.
Despite a slightly shambolic construction, 'Kemptown Animal' is the strongest song on this single that introduces an unusual band who, though they don't quite hit a bull's eye here, might just produce something remarkable in the future. Ones to watch out for.