Saturday 20 October 2012

The Good The Bad - From 034 To 050

Album review by KevW

These Danes aren't the first to do away with track names and simply use numbers instead, for example, the Three Trapped Tigers album 'Numbers 1-13' is pretty self explanatory. What makes Copenhagen trio The Good The Bad different is that they seem intent on stretching this idea out for their entire career. As you may have guessed, new album 'From 034 To 050' isn't their first outing, that was titled 'From 001 To 017', something that will tell you they don't stick to the regular format of ten or a dozen songs per album. No, these guys have loaded a mammoth fifty songs onto their trilogy of releases so far. If this seems a daunting prospect that you should be aware that they never break the three-minute mark and many tunes don't even make it to sixty seconds.

If you're already a fan and can whistle along to any track given just its number (they're an instrumental group) then you deserve some sort of award. You can picture the band practice now: "OK lads, lets quickly run through number 34", "hang on a minute, how does that one go again?". They must be well rehearsed to make it through a show with only a set list to go on, because their music may be quite excellent, but variation or particular elements that mark each song out are nonexistent. As such, picking highlights from latest offering 'From 034 To 050' is futile. For something that deviates so little it's amazingly fun; a mixture of surf, proto-garage, psychedelia and a few punky aspects, they know full well what works and are smart enough to let nothing outstay its welcome.

The choice of numbers instead of titles suits them down to the ground as it doesn't matter a jot what you call any of these brief, riff-heavy, twangy guitar bursts. Each one is expertly carried out and this is music to get lost in rather than to study. Each track is essentially the same vibe and the same tempo, and appears to be the product of deliberately limited equipment. It doesn't sound like the work of men with a huge array of effects pedals. What The Good The Bad are doing seems like a brave move and one that's totally out of step and out of time, and its maybe those reasons that make this such a wonderful album. After repeat plays we still haven't bothered learning which song is labelled with which number and we don't really care, you get the impression the band don't either. It's music and not titles that are the aim of this project, and it's an overwhelming success.

The Good The Bad's website

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