Not New, But Certainly Exciting

Getting to Know ... (Freedom Records)
Bad Blood

By Kevin Gibson

Bad Blood, sounding prepared to make Louisville a southern annex of Detroit, trumpets itself on the back of its CD art as "fresh" and having an "exciting new sound."

Well, yes and no. What I hear when I spin this disc is a throwback to the MC5, the Animals and every mid-1960s garage rock band you never heard. Hipper music writers might even say there's a subtle resemblance here to the Black Keys, but I wouldn't. If there's a true comparison to be made, it would have to be to Motor City garage rock bands like the Moony Suzuki. In short, Detroit producer Jim Diamond needs to hear these guys. At the very least, they should submit their tunes to Little Steven's Underground Garage radio show.

Getting to Know ... is an album filled with smooth, soulful grooves delivered with a bluesy rock 'n' roll intensity, led by Andy Gillooly's forceful vocals (he sounds a bit like Jack Black might sound if he wasn't always screwing around). And you should hear these guys live at least once - it's a full step above the recording in terms of intensity.

"She's a Peach" would have fit right in on the soundtrack to "Pulp Fiction," whereas "Roses" is straight-ahead blues-rock, "I Need You" carries a bit of southern boogie vibe and "Relief" is a mournful rock ballad. "Your Baby's Gone" is a prototypical example of what Bad Blood is about - this song features a relentlessly moving melody that nearly becomes redundant but doesn't. Somehow this stuff works, even though it does tend to be repetitive.

The recording quality is just deftly stark enough to make you wonder if it was by design or merely under-produced and while Bad Blood doesn't necessarily throw anything wildly new at your senses, it completes its mission - to yank you into its groove - without a hitch.

Now, is it fresh and new? Not really, not in a global way. Nevertheless, this is good stuff - stuff Louisville needs.

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