I'm particularly sensitive to the musical "purists" whom I've known over the years who might scoff - or even walk out - if they saw a band preparing for their live performance to include some sort of playback equipment. Bad Veins is Benjamin Davis and Sebastian Schultz, and when they go to perform live, they bring Irene with them to help duplicate the thrilling sounds they've created in the studio.
"Created in the studio?" These so-called purists might say. "Then that's not music."
So if you were to create art on paper or canvas... Your only choices are watercolors, acrylics, or charcoal? Surely any artist worth his salt would scoff at the use of any other medium, no?
When Joseph Kekuku found himself dragging a metal bolt along the strings of his guitar... when Les Paul and Charlie Christian experimented with the modification of their instruments... The artform of music was enhanced for our enjoyment. Whether the artist uses re-mixing, layering tracks, banging pots and pans... This is music. This is expression. Embrace it.
So thank God the boys in Bad Veins can set up Irene, their antique reel-to-reel player, so they can share their unique music with a live audience. Irene has taken a licking and keeps on ticking, even if overzealous onstage supporters from other bands accidentally turn her off. She provides a hefty dose of extra tracks that help thicken their sound. So there is that, and then watching Sebastian Schultz go apeshit on the drums is something that should not be missed.
I probably didn't have to go so far to defend this sound. A healthy ninety percent or so of our readers already get it. But as I said. I'm sensitive to the loud minority. So there it is.
I watched this band live recently, and it was pretty fascinating to see how he sang into an old telephone receiver for a few of the tracks where that muted, I-can't-sing-right-into-the-mic-because-it-will-steal-my-soul sound is preferred. Like in Track 6, "The Lie."
Download Bad Veins - The Lie
Though they formed in 2006, there was no rush to make a record. Their self-titled debut LP was released in 2009, and it's 10 tracks of thoughtful composition. They toured quite a bit before even releasing that album, and I believe they've finally wrapped up their spring/summer tour where they pretty much went everywhere in the US. Feel bad if you missed them.
I just went through their twitter feed in an attempt at stalking grandeur, and saw that they are pals with Chris Hardwick. Now that's cool. The Nerdist can help you find all sorts of cool stuff. That's an aside. I'm running out of things to say. I'm pretty impressed with Bad Veins. I love Track 8, "Dryout", as well, but if you're looking for more laid-back tunes, they've got a new EP out, called Outliers, four simple tracks for a chill afternoon.
But I'm going to leave you with something upbeat. So enjoy "Dryout". And then buy their shit. They will be back out on tour next month.
Download Bad Veins - Dryout
Get the EP Here!