Somewhere between The Fall, Black Flag, and the most barbaric of 80s gloom, Bad Meds have the recorded ferocity to match their rambunctious recent gigs on their new EP, so says Getintothis’ Patrick Clarke.
Friday at Sound City was a heavy one, from the bludgeoning grooves of YAK to the unsavoury attacks of a particularly pissed-off Iceage, to say nothing of the cacophonic assaults of Swans, yet even among that avalanche of all things heavy, there was still space for a Liverpool name to make it’s scorched voice heard, that of hardcore post-punks Bad Meds.
Though their early-afternoon crowd was a small one and their venue perhaps oversized, the unbridled ferocity of the group’s set was one undercut with unrelentingly raucous intensity, leaving ears ringing and minds salivating at the prospect of the group in sweatier, more intimate circumstance, and on their self-titled new EP the band only strengthen their claim to the punk-rock throne of Liverpool’s new breed.
On assailant, attitudinous opener Hoax Apocalypse lies everything exceptional about this group, from the explosive lurches of uncompromising guitar to the collision of Mark E. Smith drawl and unprocessed screams frontman Paul Rafferty is a convincing commander, while his rhythm section David Kelly (drums) and Paul Thompson (bass) back his howls with a veering post-punk march.
Lyrically throughout Rafferty distills the finest of Northern disaffection with a more passionately fervent touch of Half Man Half Biscuit‘s sardonic cut, while musically the three-piece careen from straight-up thrashes (You’re Not My Friend, Man) to gruelling gothic thumps of sinister spoken word and melting squalls of guitar (Release the Bees).
They close on a quite ingeniously reworked Fall-esque roar of The KLF‘s It’s Grim up North, suitably enough their live highlight that had a modest throng enraptured at Sound City, and along with their potent originals it’s sure to be a scene often seen.