When presented with a band name like Bad Mary mischievous thoughts of course spring up as well as hopes that they have a sound to back up the devilish allure of their name. The Long Island quartet has that and more on the evidence of new EP Killing Dinosaurs. It is six highly flavoursome and raucous slices of punk ‘n’ roll unafraid to be as pop catchy as they are belligerently irritable. It is steeped in seventies punk and power pop with the attitude and tenacity of modern rock ‘n’ roll, and quite irresistible.
Bad Mary’s beginnings sprung in 2010 from the regular happening of Hofstra University’s professor of drama and guitarist David Henderson putting a band together with students each semester to play a bunch of covers. At this moment in time vocalist Amanda Mac and bassist/vocalist Mike Staub were the students who became involved, with a time of turnover in drummers ending with Amanda’s dad and veteran drummer Bill Mac joining the band. Playing songs from favourite new wave and punk artists from several eras, initially as Madame X, Bad Mary was officially launched in 2012, and through each member’s individual love of punk and rock from different decades, the band’s own sound grew and blossomed. Debut album Better Days was the first offering, a 2014 release going on to garner three first-round ballot Grammy nominations, success matched by their live presence and their songs luring media and radio attention on both sides of the pond.
With inspirations ranging from The Ramones, The Sex Pistols, and Motorhead to The Tom Robinson Band, The Police, Blondie, and Green Day amongst many, the band’s new EP is a non-stop stomp that growls as it invites, bullies as it sets ears and imagination alight. Recorded with producer/engineer Matt Storm and assistant engineer Francisco Botero at Studio G in Brooklyn, Killing Dinosaurs gets straight to the point with opener Soapbox. Amanda leads the confrontation from the off, her potent tones the first touch and fiery guitars around rampant rhythms the next. It is an infectious and grouchy start with the growl of bass alone a brooding impossible to resist temptation as the guitars release their similarly enticing caustic flames. The backing roars of Mike brings a fiercer texture to compliment the intimidatingly tantalising tones of Amanda whilst more metal bred hues add to the overall brawl of the excellent start to the EP.
Whereas the first track has a presence crossing years, the following Want What I Want carries a great old school punk character, strolling with a swagger which is part Vice Squad and part The Objex. The bass of Mike again captivates with its heavy swagger whilst David weaves a hook lined web of enterprise part venom part flirtation as Bill slaps the listeners’ proverbial cheeks around. Eclipsing its predecessor, it too is shaded a touch by next up Hanging Around, a boisterous canter carrying the glam rock of Sweet, the mischievous pop punk of the Rezillos, and the rapacious virulence of dragSTER. The track steals the show, leaving an already strong appetite greedier and already by this time an exhausted body more wasted but energised.
Next to You swings in next with a similar swagger and nature whilst delving into more classic heavy rock enterprise with a tasty scent of early No Doubt punk pop to it too. Again physical involvement is a given as it spins its lures, a success emulated by the X-Ray Spex meets The Avengers like Sucks to Be You, another rousing middle finger of word and energy
Killing Dinosaurs is completed by One More Song, a compelling mix of fifties rock ‘n’ roll and sixties pop embroiled in power pop/punk rock imagination and dexterity. It is an infectious end to an increasingly enjoyable encounter; a collusion of old school and twenty first century punk ‘n’ roll to lift emotions from the doldrums and bodies into feverish participation.
The Killing Dinosaurs EP is out now @ https://badmary.bandcamp.com/album/killing-dinosaurs-ep
Pete RingMaster 22/10/2105
Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright
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