What happens when you take arguably the two biggest, and most diverse, parts of the Cheltenham music scene – hardcore and folk – fuse them together into a four-piece band and throw them over the Cotswolds into Oxford? The answer, it seems, is Bad News, who dropped their first single ‘Native Tongue’ on Monday.
The band are formed of Tom Playfair (former member of Cheltenham hardcore heavyweights Crooks) on vocals and guitar; local folk hero Andy Oliveri on guitar; Tommee Philpot on bass, and Jake Fogarty (another alumnus of Crooks) on drums. Citing influences as diverse as Chain of Strength, Neil Young, Bonnie ‘Prince’ Billy and Title Fight, Bad News got this writer instantly excited as to what the band might actually sound like…
In truth I’m pretty stumped.
Normally I can hear something and reel off a list of ‘if you like that you should listen to this’, but I can’t seem to do this with Bad News. I can tell you that ‘Native Tongue’ is a very good track, driven by confident and powerful drums that keep a firm grip on the steady basslines and the delicate vocal and guitar interplay. I can tell you that the song reminds me of bands like Nada Surf, Rogue Wave and The Hold Steady (at their more mellow), but it doesn’t sound like a song that any of these would release. This can only be a good thing, and I’m very excited for the release of the band’s debut EP Saraswati (named after the Hindu goddess of music) on October 20th.