Some bands seem to develop a ‘buzz’ that on first impressions is a little surprising. Quite often, these bands disappear into the ether but somehow I don’t think The Bad Flowers will be one of those.
They play classic hard rock in a three piece lineup – Tom Leighton on guitar and vocals, Dale Tonks on bass and backing vox and drummer Karl Selickis – and this album clearly shows that they have some pretty damn strong chops. The riffs are strong, Leighton’s voice is individual and really carries the power and Selickis’ drumming is right on the money. Tonks’ bass lines really hold the groove and let the other two go where they want and the result is really strong, listenable and surprisingly confident rock music.
They pound away through the first four numbers, from the stirring ‘Thunder Child’ through ‘Lions Blood’ with its echoes of classic Rush meets Montrose and then ‘Secrets’ where the riff and drums work together to build huge tension. The maelstrom finishes on the martial ‘Rich Man’ which really shows Leighton’s power vocals at their best.
The soft and passionate ‘I Hope’ comes at the right time and the simple vocal and acoustic guitar combo allow you to relax and really hear Leighton’s voice at its best. As if to show that they can exist in both worlds, ‘Let’s Misbehave’ has both the dark and brooding edge of the band and the beautifully played stuff all within a single number – nearly six minutes of some of the best rock I’ve heard this year.
The album keeps coming, high intensity and some terrific riffing, but I found it completely involving – I have heard so many bands who just bluster you and batter your ears but The Bad Flowers have a lot more of what it takes and I found that every track grabbed my attention.
New single ‘Hurricane’ is a very tasty piece of modern rock and suggests that they will go down really well on tour with Stone Broken and James Jared Nichols