bed wettin' bad boys Rot (CD, £10.50)label: Agitated
Look, there isn’t any way to write this without commenting on the name Bed Wettin’ Bad Boys. We’re not gonna bring ourselves to it, but with all measures of certainty, you are. You’re casting aspersions on their name, maybe formulating in your mind what they might sound like, and wondering why Agitated / RIP Society is bringing them to your attention. Have they no shame, you thought. Do they want to sell records and attract fans, you ponder. Thing is, they’ve heard it already. They own it, and they’ve done so since 2009. Save your opinions. It’s time to get that sentiment stricken from the slate, because we’re here to talk about their music, which is bold, passionate, ear-splitting rock & roll, performed with tremendous heart and determination. It’s a barrier of entry for those unable or unwilling to look past the surface. Rot is the name of the second full-length from Sydney’s Bed Wettin’ Bad Boys. Hang it on regional slang (“My mum used to say, ‘what a load of rot’ instead of ‘what a load of shit,’” mentions guitarist Joe Sukit), or pin it to the way they perceive themselves as veritable dinosaurs of their local scene, set adrift to crumble on their love for classic rock and lack of fashionable ideas. Maybe even put it in the novelty canon of “Rock, Rot & Rule.” Or why not add a fourth R, because this thing rips. Those guitars are hoisted in defiance of cool, and are loud enough to break your concentration and enforce an active listening experience. Musically, Bed Wettin’ Bad Boys haven’t budged an inch from their debut full length (2013’s Ready for Boredom, released on bassist Nic Warnock’s R.I.P Society label). Nor should they have; they are in the (sporadic) business of writing durable, sentiment-stirring riffs, the kind that lifted the first stirrings of punk in England (see Eddie and the Hot Rods, maybe), or of the direction of power-pop that was more focused on writing worldbeaters than fixing its hair (look at the Replacements, perhaps, or Mission of Burma). Not one drop of power is wasted or lost here; raw emotions push through these tracks in songs about love, about watching the world turn, about casting off distractions and focusing on the need for human connection. We may not have much time left to say these things, before we begin to rot. This is their chance. Might be your chance as well.
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