THE BADS: So Alive
By Steph Gray
If this duo’s harmonies and twin guitars sound familiar, you may have heard them in former incarnations Boom Boom Mancini or The Julie Dolphin. As the latter, Dianne Swann and Brett Adams cite opening for Green Day and collaborating with Radiohead among other adventures in the motherland. Now firmly at home in west Auckland, The Bads have released their second album four years after their debut ‘Earth from Space’ impressed the pants off Billy Corgan. The Bads’ aptitude for writing charming and precise countrified pop songs holds clear appeal to NZ producers also; title track So Alive is a tune adapted from one written for foodies’ show Hunger for the Wild. Standout tracks alongside that include Irritainment with its no-nonsense rock chorus, stroppy lyrics and big riffs, and Demons, a shimmery, husky number absolutely owned by Swann. Recorded at home and at Lab Studios, Swann and Adams share the songwriting, as they have since first collaborating in 1992, and bringing in Wayne Bell and Aidan Phillips to lay down drums and bass respectively.