Bad Breeding – Divide (La Vida Es un Mus)
Genre – Punk / Hardcore
There are few bands with so much raw, pent up frustration that they have enough venom to release two full length punk albums within 12 months, but Stevenage based Bad Breeding have done just that.
Formed in 2013 during their school years, they are drawn together by an enthusiasm for old anarcho and a complete disdain for the misrepresentation of Britain’s working-class identity, and now have another ten brutal tracks to show for it.
Following the EU referendum in June, Bad Breeding began writing this album as they ‘sought to make sense of the confusion and misdirection that was so prevalent last summer. In some ways it’s an attempt to resist the impulse to collapse under the weight of perpetual distortion packaged by certain sections of the British media, but at times we simply found ourselves instinctively lashing out in bewilderment at what was unravelling around us: the division and derision of certain sections of society, the enablement of xenophobia and the continued manipulation of working-class identity by politicians and press organisations alike.’
This defiant, political stance has led to an album that takes no prisoners, despite the soft opening of Whip Hand. After a soft, strummed opening, Bad Breeding hit you with the full force Matt Troll’s rugged, muffled guitar and Chris Dodd’s overtly angry, growly vocals.
The self-described ‘best punk band in Britain’ has a sound that’s just about as punk as it comes, with only three of the ten tracks on the record spanning more than three minutes. This focus on short, sharp bursts of anger will once again appeal to the working class masses, who feel out of touch with modern punk, and this energy is likely to spill over to create overly aggressive live shows.
Bad Breeding’s youthful promise and self-confidence has led a sense of self-righteousness and lecturous rants in tracks like Leaving. This slow track sees overly simple drum patterns mixed with heavy feedback and muffled repetition of the term ‘know what’ filling the cavities left by basic musicianship.
The More The Merrier sees yet more repetition, with fairly ropey lyrics surrounding the title of the track, while Entrenched is quite simply a wall of noise so heavily wrapped in distortion that Dodd’s vocals are completely illegible.
So after ten tracks, the big question is – are Bad Breeding really Britain’s best punk band? The potential is there, but at the minute, they’re more in tune with Gallows circa 2007 than the top of Britain’s punk pile. Like Frank Carter ten years ago, these boys need to learn that it takes more than aggression to become a great band, and if they can harness that energy into more carefully arranged tracks with some level of production, they may have something special to offer.
RUSHONROCK RATED – 6/10 Uncontrolled chaos.