Sunday, January 3, 2021

Badlands – Self-Titled

A very hearty good day to you waveriders!  Today I bring tidings of a positively exceptional album that escaped my notice for far too long.  Yes friends, we’re going to take a detour back to the year 1989 and focus our attention on the self-titled debut record from Badlands.  Come with me, won’t you?

 

If life were fair and/or just Badlands should have been enormous, but as we all know life isn’t fair and it’s far from just.  Regardless of the reasons behind this band’s lack of megastardom, right now our best course of action is simply to absorb this screaming slab of rock ‘n’ roll and spread the word of it’s excellence to anyone who is willing to listen.  And my god is this album spectacular!  For anyone looking for their fix of bluesy hard rock, this is the dragon you’ve been chasing.

 

We’ve got guitar pyrotechnics provided by Jake E. Lee.  Vocals in the vein of Robert Plant and David Coverdale combined emanate from Ray Gillen.  The rock solid rhythm section of bassist Greg Chaisson and drummer Eric Singer keep the proceedings firmly in check despite the overabundance of musical energy being generated at all times.  Speaking of the proceedings, let’s discuss a couple of songs on this album.  I’d write about them all but in the interest of time…

 

When I first heard album opener “High Wire” I knew within 10 seconds, before the rhythm section or vocals kicked in, that I was about to have my world seismically shifted.  Sure enough, after the band flexed all of their musical muscles my hard rock loving eardrums were broken down and reconfigured.  Badlands had taken hold!  “Winter’s Call” is the best Led Zeppelin song not recorded by Led Zeppelin I’ve heard in a long while.  “Dancing On The Edge” is disgustingly propulsive and memorable.  Finally, the one-two punch of “Rumblin’ Train” and “Devil’s Stomp” will reaffirm your belief in the guitar as an agent of healing and wellness.

 

Waveriders, I can’t promise that you will enjoy this album as much as I do.  All I can tell you is that after listening to this record on youtube for the first time, I immediately ordered all three of Badlands releases.  No time wasted.  No hesitation whatsoever.  I expect many of you will have the exact same reaction.  Happy listening my friends!

 

-Penfold


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