26 Mar 2023

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Bad Schematics - EP Review: Keep Your Gods

28 Feb 2023 // A review by River Tucker

Bad Schematics have hit the road running with a small tour and a couple of promo videos made in support of their debut EP, Keep Your Gods. It’s a rip-roaring release somewhat influenced by early 2000 American Emo rock, embellished with touches of Nu-Metal and high-energy Alt Rock, which delivers a sound they can proudly call all their own.

Without mucking about this Palmerston North based band get right down to business with Carousel. This track could have come straight out of the US with its slightly derivative chord progressions and Caleb Hickmott’s prominent and youthful sounding vocals. His American twang provides an almost theatrical element slightly reminiscent of Fall Out Boy or My Chemical Romance. This four on the floor stonker has all the elements needed to cut right through and grab your attention.

With its medley of musical styles the next track, WAW2WMT, is another natural progression of genres taken from preceding decades. It even includes some components of 90's BritPop to pique your interest but is way more rock orientated. As the abbreviated name implies, What A Way To Waste My Time is all about angst and includes a good dash of chutzpah to get the message across.

Pilots or Passengers pursues a more conventional rock style but with the added benefit of subtle effects, precise stabs and a polyphonic melody on the keys to keep you fully engaged throughout. A pared back Emo-style pre chorus is a sterling touch and, as always, Daniel Braithwaite’s drumming is right on the money.

Saving the best till last, Kings and Queens (Feat. Koert Wegman) is the standout track by a long shot. Trent Fairhurst’s classic guitar riffs and excellent harmonics nicely compliment Caleb’s darker lyrics, although the lead vocals get a bit pitchy at times. Koert Wegman’s metal rapping towards the end heralds in an almost doom-like change that works exceptionally well. It’s a clinically executed track to close out what is a well-produced and highly listenable release.

Bad Schematics' EP probably won’t get the airtime it deserves. But that shouldn’t stop you from supporting them live or tracking down a copy of Keep Your Gods for your music collection.

Rating: ( 3 / 5 )


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