Italy’s Bad Bones offer up a delicious throwback to simpler times with their new album, Demolition Derby. It’s their fourth full-length offering in total, and the band have clearly spent their careers wisely up to this point, honing their sound to a glossy sheen of high-competency, high-impact, bluesy hard rock.
Whitesnake and Brian Howe-era Bad Company are clearly big influences here, and of course that’s no bad thing. Some Kind of Blues finds the band unleashing a riff eerily similar to da Snakes’ Crying in the Rain, whilst the superb Rambling Heart could easily have come from Bad Company’s mid-eighties renaissance with Howe. This is classy, albeit hopelessly dated, stuff, comfort music for ageing rockers for sure, but it’s hard to see the band making much of an impact on modern ears with this kind of classy if inoffensive AOR-tinged rock.
Still, that’s not our fault, is it? As many a football manager haS said you can only play what’s in front of you, and quite frankly my old ears are loving what Bad Bones are serving up with Demolition Derby.
Rusty Broken Song is a bit livelier; uptempo drums back up bona fide heavy metal riff and some superb soloing from SerJoe Bone and the ever-present roving bass of Steve Bone, who really is up front in the excellent mix for most of the time – it’s great to actually hear a bass player in the mix on this kind of music!
Vocalist Max Bone (Mr and Mrs Bone must be very proud of their boys’ achievements) is the star of the show, however. Possessed of the sort of classy, sexily gritty voice that used to be commonplace in the eighties but seems to have disappeared largely these days, he commands every song with ease, never over singing yet imparting oodles of emotion if the song requires it, and tons of controlled aggression if not. It’s a pleasure to hear him singing every song on this album, and I’d love to hear the man bringing the house down live as I’m sure he would.
There really isn’t any fault to be found with Demolition Derby; Bad Bones have hit upon a tried n’tested rockers n’ballads formula that’s not going to surprise anyone, least of all the sort of people that like this kind of music, but at the end of the day that’s not really the point. Music that’s executed this well should always be welcome, and Demolition Derby certainly is in the Adams household. Have a listen!
Bad Bones’ new album, Demolition Derby, is out now on Sliptrick Records