LIVE & LEARN
There are moments when Bad Sign’s debut album feels like a mixtape of the best melodic metal of the last 20 years. Gloriously unburdened by the shackles of a specific subgenre, the London-based trio are free to mount a sonic assault that encompasses elements of everyone from Rage Against
The Machine to Tool, with more than a nod to the metallic post-hardcore of early Thrice. Unfortunately, their songwriting chops don’t yet match their ambition. At its best – the tech-pop stomp of Attrition, the urgent ear-wormery of Square One – Live & Learn is catchy, heavy, and heartfelt. There’s also a commercial nous that was absent from Bad Sign’s earlier, more progressive material. But a more accessible record like this lives and dies by its hooks and although it’s enjoyable while it’s on, there are too many disposable melodies to elevate the album to greatness. Inconsistency aside, this is an assured debut that promises more exciting things to come.