Album: OK, I’M SICK
Record Label: Big Machine Records
Recommended Tracks: Track 2 – “The Jester”, Track 8 – “Heroin”
Four piece band Badflower released their debut album OK, I’M SICK on February 22, 2019. The L.A. based alternative rock band mixes Emo influences from the early 2000’s into these thirteen songs. They’re drenched with angst and darker undertones as they comment on subjects like mental health, politics, and abuse. They’re a band that has a lot to say and they’re using their music to shed light upon topics that many artists stray from. Each song has intense lyrical themes, entertaining instrumentation, and rich vocal delivery. Singer Josh Katz’s performance is so emotionally-driven that every lyric that he sings elicits impassioned urgency. Collectively, the album earns a 4/5 rating for its honest artistic approach and the impressive musical momentum.
Even though Badflower is clearly influenced by other artists in the industry, as they share similar qualities with bands like My Chemical Romance, they still manage to stand out. This is because of their their undeniable talent and the fact that they don’t hold anything back on this album. Track two, “The Jester,” is a high-energy song with lyrics that paint an image of nobles in a medieval ballroom being entertained by a jester. Katz sings about feeling like an outsider among “kings” at “the dinner table.” He sings with a tone of desperation while questioning, “Is anybody out there looking out for me?” His voice gradually builds as the song progresses and the narrative is revealed. The last minute of the song is where Katz’s vocals soar to a hard-hitting crescendo, creating a moody atmosphere with the support of textured drums and strings. This track is well-made and you can really feel the frustration behind Katz’s voice, making it a visceral listening experience.
Track eight, titled “Heroin,” is brutally honest as the lyrics compare a love interest to having a similar effect as a heroin addiction. The song is a metaphor that points to an unhealthy relationship that one has a hard time moving on from. He acknowledges the negative feelings that they end up creating as he sings, “she’s in my veins again…my bones are caving in.” This song highlights Katz’s ability to shift from soft and vulnerable melodies to gut-wrenching screaming within the same song. The guitars stand out on this track, adding a distorted element that juxtaposes the clean vocals. The distorted guitars emphasize the idea of one’s life being clouded by a toxic person or substance.
Badflower’s debut album OK, I’M SICK is a body of work that carries you through various emotions and themes that are well-integrated throughout. Even if their style isn’t your usual musical preference, it’s worth checking out because this fairly new band has a lot of potentials.