Album Review : Bad Touch – Truth Be Told
Album Review : Bad Touch – Truth Be Told
Bad Touch are one of Britains hidden gems, They have been slogging it out, gigging away and accepting any and every support slot you can imagine. In fact I have seen these boys about four times in Glasgow in the last two years, the most recent being their support to The Kentucky Headhunters who they were so suited for and seemed to hit it off with the elder southerners.
I was won over the very first show I caught them and I have managed to see them every single time they hit my home town. They have never disappointed apart from the fact that with a support slot I never get enough of them but that is set to change. This band is a groove train and the brakes are off with this album. It is head and shoulders above previous release Half Way Home and that is no mean feat.
This band from Norfolk take you to a world of old time rockers, The Stones, Black Crowes and Skynard. Simple music, played exquisitely, laid back and with songs that always get a party sorted.
The first track is “One More Night” and the groove is set for the whole album, upbeat, up tempo and celebratory. You would never think that this is a break up song and if they can be that upbeat about a split I reckon it was definitely not meant to be.
For anyone who has seen Bad Touch live recently you will already know and love “99%”. If you are familiar with these guys you also know they are never too serious and this song reflects it perfectly and would you believe that it was written about a car? No, me neither. This is Bad touch rocking out and kicking up dust.
The opening riff in “Waiting For This” is sublime and this actually gave me shivers and I sat up and thought holy crap this is special and after listening to the whole album I can tell you it is packed with a different class of songs. The band have tied down each and every part of this track. There is more attention to detail, the drums are perfectly placed, the vocals are powerful at the precise moment and the breakout is sheer class. This is a standout track which is going to go down as one of my favourites from 2016.
Do you remember the first time you heard Shake Your Money Maker? The Black Crowes burst onto the scene with one of the best albums of the whole 90s and even today each and every song stands the test of time and “Under My Skin” could sit on that album and compete with every track. It has the same groove, the same swagger and is just as beautiful.
At this point I do not think things could possibly get better but shut my mouth and slap me stupid as “Heartbreaker, Soulshaker” is just the best thing Bad Touch have ever written. This is a funk overload with an immense chorus and fuzzy assed guitars. If it was a person it would be a 70s pimp, purple velvet, top hat, Lace sleeves and a cane. I cannot convey how good this song is, you just need to hear it, it is worth the price of the CD all on its own.
“Take your Time” slows it all down and is perfectly paced. With everything slowed down you can really hear the tones in Stevie Westwood’s vocals. It really touches on the blues vibe and the message is one for life…a perfect song for when you are pissed off.
“Let The Sun Shine” is a different tact for the band, it sounds totally new and seriously upbeat and when you find out that the song is written about Download you will be even more surprised but it is all about having a good time no matter the weather and you need plenty of that at Download. It is also quite funny for me as Stevie was standing right behind me when Haelstorm were playing, soaked to the skin but both of us rocking out and not caring less about the mud.
Songs with Mother or father in the title always seem to be classics and “My Mother Told Me” is no different. The guitar licks are gorgeous and it is all about the support given by families. It is a rocked up bluesy beast.
Hats of to the boys for writing “Outlaw” as a homage to Clint Eastwood. It starts as a western song should with acoustic guitar and then rips into a southern monster. The slowed down parts really paints the picture of the wild west and the lyrics tell the whole story with style. This song has soundtrack success written all over it.
“Made To Break” picks up on severe reverb and is recorded to sound echoey and distant. It has a swagger all of its own and it cuts its own path on the album,very individual. “Healing Hand” is a lot heavier and meanders along like a lazy river and for some reason made me think of Mississippi(and I haven’t even been there). It has some brilliant blues guitar work, layered to perfection.
As “Mountain” starts I am screaming no…this cannot be the last track. Even though there are 12 tracks this album just flew by. This song goes all trippy on you and when you break down the lyrics you can see why. Lets just say I know where the band are coming from as I have been called a tree hugger on many occasions. Stevie said this was his favourite track and the closest to his heart and you can tell the love, anger and depression that went into it. It is all about our planet being destroyed and how little we can do about it. I fell in love with this song and its message.
Bad Touch have not just knocked on the door of success, they have kicked it down with cheeky grins on their faces. If Truth Be Told does not propel them to greater things it is time for me to wrap up this reviewing malarky. I loved this band before but this album has taken them to new heights of professionalism and kick assery. It is the grooviest, danciest, motherfucker of 2016.
Review Ritchie Birnie