Bad Sign

LIVE & LEARN

Metal Hammer (UK) - - The Gospel - Eclec­tic melodic metallers in need of some great melodies ROB BAR­BOUR

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.

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