Bad Naps is a band based out of Williamsburg, VA. The project is led by Derek. The moniker was created as a joke amongst friends while he was touring as a musician. They released their debut Blue Heron EP which was a collection of songs about his coping with the long-distance relationship with his now wife. The band is now releasing their second EP entitled Sheepish EP.
Self-dubbed as “Mid-Atlantic op-punk,” the band harnesses a sound that can oscillate to the poppier, more upbeat side, but it can also dip into dark, more aggressive riffs, often wading into emo territory. The band pivots between hard and soft with relative ease. They challenge themselves to deliver a sound that will not only draw a crowd but also please the musician on a technical level. With influences that range from Relient K, Brand New, Taking Back Sunday and Armor for Sleep, the sounds off their recent EP are energized.
Sheepish EP opens with “The Best Part of ([Of Waking Up] Is Waking Up With You),” where a clashing of instrumentals starts off this track The electric guitars, bass lines, drums and percussions rush forward. The band dives into the punk rock spirit on this song that also has emo instances. His vocals sound similar to Taking Back Sunday although he occasionally goes off-key during the songs.
Following is “Parish/Perish,” where intermittently the guitar riffs come in a staccato fashion. The sound on the guitar is sparse and minimal. Next, the sound of horns, bass lines, drums and percussions come in.
A melee of guitars create a wall of sound on “Pray/Prey.” Next, the number slows down to give s slower saunter. A strong sense of urgency underlines this track. Derek’s vocals are filled with agony and pain as he sings, “Took a hammer to my teeth / Make me feel less than humanity / Worthy of genocide.” A guitar solo adds in range toward the two-minute mark until the close.
On the closer “Anyway” noodling on the acoustic guitar starts off this mainly acoustic number. This is a stripped-down song and the instrumentals are sparse. Though a simple song, the emotional power of the vocals makes up for it. The album closes on this soft number.
With themes of love, forgiveness, faith, anxiety and frustration, Sheepish EP is a straightforward album with a pop-punk sound. I was pleasantly surprised by how tight-knit their sound was. Derek explained that the project came to life through the support of his friends. In fact, the project features a few of his friends with Derek at the helm. Their chemistry is displayed in how well they jam together and on many a searing note, the band shows they are enthusiasts of the aforementioned genres.
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