The Southern California band, Badflower, released their first full length album on February 22, 2019. Prepare yourself, this collection of 13 songs is not for the faint of heart. Each song has been carefully crafted to evoke the most powerful emotions possible while dealing with deep and often taboo subject matter. The songs were all written by the foursome consisting of Josh Katz (vocals), Joey Morrow (guitar), Alex Espirtu (bass) and Anthony Sonetti (drums) along with their producer Noah Shain.
OK, I’M SICK was highly anticipated by many and this excitement was demonstrated by its immediate rise to #1 on the iTunes Alternative Charts. This album starts off with the no nonsense track, “x Ana x.” This song makes you feel the anxiety that Katz is expressing with a fast, out of control guitar that mimics an overactive heartbeat. “The Jester,” track two, takes us immediately into the honest and heavy lyrics that permeate throughout the entire album. This song has an intense sadness as it asks, “Is there anybody out there looking out for me?”
“Ghost” is one of the songs we are already familiar with since it was the first single and hit number one on the charts. The first time I heard this melody I immediately felt pain and despair in my soul as Katz told us of his struggle. This song is so powerful and relatable that it’s impossible not to be sucked in. “We’re in Love” however, has a unique sound that is difficult to categorize. Throughout this album, Badflower expertly adjusts the tempo with the accompanying riffs at such an intensity that it keeps the interest of the listener. “Promise Me” is the fourth single released via the Big Machine/John Varvatos Records label and tells of a love story with a not so happy ending.
Following the first five thought-provoking tunes, we jump into the disturbing track “Daddy.” This uncomfortable subject matter forces us to face the reality that abuse occurs more frequently than we want to think. “Murder Games” and “Die,” tracks 9 and 10, also deal with societal injustices in an angry, desperate, and pleading way. Badflower has said in interviews that they hope bringing forward some of these difficult subjects will help others to know they are not alone.
“Heroin” is another tune that has received much airplay. Check out the accompanying video for imagery to emphasize the darkness in this song about cheating and the difficulty of breaking away from this addicting type of relationship. The album ends with the eerie “Cry” which starts out slowly, builds to a heavy crescendo, and ends with a vague marching out to nothingness.
When this album was over, I could only think to myself, “What did I just hear?” The emotions of sorrow, rage, and disgust for the heinous way society has presented itself to these youthful souls made me pause for days before I could listen again. The material covered on this album would seemingly come from those much older than twenty-four. Their sound cannot easily be categorized; one of the reasons that they are a band to watch as they navigate into the future.
Badflower delivers an equally intense live performance. I recently saw them on the Shiprocked Cruise where they brought the songs to life with a frenzy of emotion. Currently, they are on the road with Nothing More and will be joining Shinedown as direct support shortly thereafter.
Cover photo courtesy of https://www.badflowermusic.com/,