by Tim Birkbeck
Since last year there has been a common theme running through many new punk rock albums; the state of society we live in today. So when gritty noise mongers, Bad Breeding put together their second full-length, it was a safe assumption that these themes would rear their ugly head once more.
Formed as an attempt to call out the rank injustices and political distortion peddled to people existing on the fringes of society, Bad Breeding mark their return with Divide. An album which sees the band from Stevenage unleash their thoughts on these dark and uncertain times.
The word ‘onslaught’ can be thrown around too easily when describing music with a punch, but right from the first screeching noises and feedback on opener, ‘Whip Hand’, right through to ‘Endless Impossibility’ there is no let up from the band. Vicious, frantic and, in a very hallowing way, very realistic of the outpourings of many who feel let down by the world, Bad Breeding seem to have channelled this anger and bottled it up into 10 blistering, noise riddled tracks.
Whether it is the pummelling assault of ‘Entrenched’, or the politically driven ‘Leaving’, it is the noise and the chaos of Bad Breeding’s music which makes them so distinguishable. ‘Leaving’, in particular, hits hard with its lyrical content reflecting how so many currently feel about the result of the EU Referendum; screeching guitars accompany the repeated, bile spitting screams of “now what?”.
‘The More The Merrier’ reminds me of the first time listening to Gallows Orchestra of Wolves, and the impact that record had. The track still features that noisy element, but there’s a groove to the rhythm – so much so that it almost hits upon a chorus hook. Something which could open the band to a wider audience.
Most of the songs of the record clock in between one and three minutes, but closing song ‘Endless Impossibility’ is an epic in Bad Breeding standards running for five minutes, 40 seconds. Of which a good two minutes are just the scratching of the guitar fretboards, with the drum and bass rhythm.
And I think this sums up the band perfectly. They are here to make one hell of a racket and, as a listener, you come out the other side feeling completely battered. It’s all reflective of how the band feel about society. Divide stands as their statement for change.
Divide is due for release on April 7 via La Vida Es un Mus.