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Bad Schematics - Album Review: C O L L I D E

01 May 2024 // A review by Kerry MB

Manawatu might seem one of the unlikeliest places to find some damn good alt-rock pop punk, even more so when you add elements of metal, but stranger things have happened and I’m here to tell you it’s true, and their name is Bad Schematics.

Not a name that may be familiar (yet), but they are a pretty determined bunch, having released their debut EP, Keep Your Gods in a flurry of a few short weeks, in 2023.

Since then, they’ve not been shy in continuing their tour de force and it’s nothing short of spectacular. This is their debut album, C O L L I D E, and it’s not just a little bit good, it’s the kind of good where all sense of time stops, because you’re just in it.

So here we go.

10 tracks of solid production, masterfully mixed and engineered. And I don’t say that lightly. These are fine pieces of art that not only have been carefully curated, but piece together a journey of mental health and relationships.

Now in 2024, anything that still produces this kind of heart will always hit the spot. And it absolutely helps that I, like so many grew up in the early 2000’s when the crème de la crème of alt-rock pop punk flooded the airways and music channels. There’s a certain amount of finesse that comes with this genre, and yes you can get it wrong.

C O L L I D E is how you do it right.

Jumping straight into first track, and the first single for the album, Yours Forever featuring Ben Dark from Mirrored Walls, it hits all the marks. Highly infectious chorus, chunky power chords, lyrically emotive. It’s a belter.

Beneath It All hits next, and has one hell of a catchy riff that really hooks you in. Vocally just as emotive but faster paced. It has the kind of intensity that leaves you hanging on every chord.

If you’re looking for more of those solid hooks, then you’ll find it in abundance throughout C O L L I D E. The musicianship alone of these four, comprising of Caleb Hickmott (vocals, synths), Caitlin Sorenson (bass), Daniel Braithwaite (drums), and newcomer and newcomer Tane Butler (guitar) respectively, really is impressive.

What makes it hard though with this level of musicianship though is actually picking favourites off this debut. There is a delivery of great songs with lyrical capability and emotion, but also the wide range of cross musical pollination. here are snippets of influence (My Chemical Romance and Bring Me To The Horizon to name a few) but above all, there is clarity of their own sound. If you’re after cookie cutter, look elsewhere.

A superb debut that goes from strength to strength with each song and you’re right there with every note. This is how it’s done, and the question now stands, where to go from here? But up of course.



Year: 2024
Type: Album
Keep Your Gods
Year: 2023
Type: EP

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