Bad Health

Psychrophore Why Should We Care? LP

Melodic punk from this Lille, France band that really doesn’t do it for me. The band is tight enough, as mostly uninspired three-chord punk goes, but the vocals are distracting, and the lyrics are sincere and simplistic to the point of amateurishness. Imagine a husky-voiced, femme Axl Rose fronting TILT. The vocal delivery is just not a fit. The lyrics rhyme so precisely that I stopped reading them out of secondhand embarrassment. For example: “There was this boy / He wasn’t interested in school / He didn’t care about what was deemed cool / He didn’t mind being taken for a fool / All he wanted was to play music on his stool.” That’s some rough-draft songwriting there. I will say that the tracks were self-recorded, and the production sounds great; nice and thick. But this is something I will not listen to again.

Young Harts Truth Fades LP

This sounds like something that No Idea would have put out when they were still a label, but not in the “bearded, gruff, drunken, Florida” way. In more of the “kinda street punk, kinda emo, hard to pin down” way. Kinda TED LEO with a sore throat singing for DEAD TO ME with slower breakdowns. I know that sounds like a confusing mess, but it works and I’m for it!

Young Harts All I Got LP

Like most people in their mid-thirties, I’m a ’90s nostalgist through and through. This full-length really should be my bag, with its sound that sits somewhere between SHUDDER TO THINK and the early albums of SUPERDRAG. On paper that sounds awesome, and there are moments of brightness from track to track. Ultimately, it falls a little short for me, largely due to some real clunkers in the lyric department—”No need for lyrics / I’m an OGG” seems to sum it up on the otherwise snappy “Up in Flames.” There’s also the production, which sounds overly digital. On that same song, there’s what sounds like software reverb throughout, which takes me right out of the experience. The song structures are solidly built and the vocal melodies are generally the centerpiece, but executed in a way that shines a bit too over-affected. The overall sound strikes me as a band that probably would have made a competent tour opener two decades ago, but I’d probably go stand in the drink line during their set now. And lastly, the more plodding ballads have got to go, such as the acoustic “Still Shining” and album closer “Shun It Down.”