Bad Sports drop their new full-length via Dirtnap Records on October 29th. The band includes Orville Neeley (guitars / vocals), Daniel Fried (bass / vocals) and Gregory Rutherford (drums). Ahead of the album’s release, the band recently shared the single and title-track “Constant Stimulation.”
This time, the production quality is more lean and tense, giving an air that is decidedly frustrated, more world-weary. And not to say that this isn’t an enjoyable listen – it’s just not the kind of record to pogo in a pit and shotgun a beer to. Bad Sports has grown in substance. There’s a balance to keeping enough of the old and forging ahead with the new to remain relevant and compelling.
The band’s history with its Texas peers of the same ilk paired along with their time spent in projects like OBN III’s, Radioactivity, Wax Museums and VIDEO (among others), has served Bad Sports well. They’ve honed themselves into being a complicated and calculating rock machine instead of just a talented party band, dishing out fuzzed-out fury, chugging chords and yelled vocals. Now, there’s a little more finesse and more care taken to let Neeley’s words and voice ring out; as close to sing-singing the band has come on a record.
There’s a general nimble brightness to the production, throughout. Gone are the days of fuzz and total distortion making the songs into jumping fleas from one track to the next. Adding a little pacing and extending their palette – the lazy chug in “Everything We Wanted” is fed by ample tremolo and loiters in its own 90s slacker rock vibe while “Ode to Power” and “Constant Stimulation” could be intertwined among the tracklists of the newest Rolling Blackouts C.F. or Shame records – equalizes things a bit because the main chunk of this record is straight-up punk, fed on busted pieces of guitar strings and broken drumsticks. It’s lean and tough.