In 2017 it's pretty easy to record your practice session with decent results. That’s exactly what Badlands comprised of Craig Moore (guitar/vocals), Jordan Rogers (bass) and Seth Barlow (drums) did for their three-song EP entitled The Jist.
The results are almost exactly what I expected. It sounds like a raw, lo-fi demo of a band practicing. If nothing else this gives them a foundation and at least an idea of the band's sound.
I’ll be honest I couldn’t make out a word that was being sung. That being said I could make out the inflection which felt appropriate for the drone metal heavy music they play. Moore exaggerates his voice and sounds a bit pissed off and aggressive as he should.
The band is tight and they play good together but the music is also very familiar sounding to the genre. You can find bands playing very similar riffs through rehearsal studios in Chicago which I hear every weekend. Lots of dropped d-tunings, white noise and droning. The band isn’t pushing any boundaries at this point.
The band formed in 2017 and are still in the embryonic stage of their development. They aren’t going deep into where this music can go as of yet like a band like Sunn O))) that are pushing the limits of where this type of music can go.
As far as I see it this band has a couple of options. Their music at this point sounds closer to Black Sabbath than Sunn O))). That's not a bad thing but it's true and you can hear it on the opener “Hard Pressed.” They can continue exploring the more familiar form they are playing now and perfect it and make it their own. The other option is to explore the fringe of imagination of where this music can go. Sample the sound of chainsaws, put it through an envelope filter and let your bassist trigger a sample of that noise while you play over it.
If the band is serious about this project they will have to get a professional sound. The production on the album Arktika by Pelican has a similar sound and that's the type of quality they should shoot for.
For as little as they have been together they have a lot of things going for them. The songs are well written and the delivery is on point. They aren’t in competition with bigger acts in this genre at this point but let's give them a little more time to develop. Good start and a band to keep in mind.
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