Released: 17th September 2011
TL;DR: So good. 8/10
BBNG is the new album from BADBADNOTGOOD. It follows on from their first self titled LP back in June, which was mostly a collection of songs they had released sporadically at the start of the year. They are a three piece from Toronto, Canada and comprise of Matthew A. Tavares, Chester Hansen, and Alex Sowinski.
This new album boasts some covers and some original material from the band. Mixing the styles of hip-hop and jazz together to produce a very slick sound beefed up by samples and tight drum patterns. The band take their sound into different directions throughout its twelve songs, diminishing any real sense of flow, but the tracks themselves have a fluidity to them to make up for it. There’s even a ten minute Legend Of Zelda: Ocarina Of Time tribute involved, and the album’s free too, so you’ve just GOT to give it a go.
The album begins with a minute or thereabouts intro titled Based Is How You Feel Inside, which is mainly a mash up of different samples, giving the album it’s hip-hop label. It is easily the most hip-hop sounding track featured, with the many drum beats used to direct the track. From the first few listens, you gain the idea that the spotlight is shining on drummer Alex Sowinski for this album.
Fall In Love is the first proper song to be heard, and has a certain jazzed up 90s hip hop feel to it. With its laid back nature and a hazy approach with the drums, though it’s the little piano licks from Tavares that make this track sound like a real smoky club soundtrack. The amount of layers involved seemingly appear from nowhere, offering a last burst of energy before the track breaks down and fades into sleep. It was a lovely listen.
The main source of the hip-hop side of BBNGs sound is the drums. They seem to fit in extremely well with the jazz elements, adding a little bit of fire into their sound. It makes sense because the final words of the album is Sowinski complaining that he has grown tired of jazz from the 50s/60s, simply saying that it is fifty years old and become boring. This is something I can agree with, while the old stuff is going to remain great, it’s something that has been heard for decades now, so it’s a lot better to come across something that’s new and fresh like this BBNG album. It’s why I became a reviewer of all things 2011, because I don’t want to continue sitting at home listening to the same Guns N Roses/Metallica/Ramones material over and over again.
There are some instances where the sound almost becomes material that Flying Lotus could’ve produced. The use of loops does get prioritised to the top in some moments, and in a way this breaks up the album a little, giving it an extra sense of variety and repeatedly turning the soil again. BBNG is a great alternative if the listener has gone off the sound of Destroyer or every other ‘big’ album of 2011, not many records will sound like this. It’s a great album to simply relax for an hour or so, and to possibly geek out at the Zelda song too.