Bad Moves – Untenable [Mint Vinyl] – New LP
Released September 18, 2020.
Welcoming version of power-pop punk, with lots of emphasis on the pop, emerging from the whole history of American power pop with their own sound, like a beach ball bouncing out of the fog, with some of the weight of a medicine ball. While it's satisfying to experience music that bravely enters the darkness and aggressively surfaces from the conflict, I can also appreciate music that retains some joyful hope, that addresses the problems we face but doesn't sink to the level of the conflicts it explores, moving along like bicycle wheels, darting along out of the reach of the creatures that drag us down. -- winch
Untenable is the sophomore full-length by Washington, D.C.’s Bad Moves. On this record, the band has leaned into the outer edges of their influences, expanding their power-pop umbrella to include hints of folk, garage rock, and ’90s “indie” while still keeping the hooks tuneful and sticky. Lyrically, the band explores the myriad anxieties of modern living -- from heady questions of self-definition and identity to day-to-day matters, like labor precarity, climate change, social media, automation and the surveillance state.
1. Local Radio
2. Night Terrors
3. Party With The Kids Who Wanna Party With You
4. Cape Henlopen
5. Toward Crescent Park
6. Working For Free
8. Fog is a Funny Thing
9. Same Bad Friends
10. Settle Into It
12. End of Tim
Ask the members of Bad Moves how the band started and they’ll modestly kick aside the question with a simple reply: “Just some friends starting a band, you know?” Bad Moves hones in on a distinct power-pop sound—spread in shimmering guitar riffs and thundering drum beats anchored by lyrics that, even when heated, manage to sound hopeful. The band draws from some ’70s and ’80s influences, like The Nerves, The Replacements, and The Cars, along with more contemporary rockers, like Ex Hex or Sheer Mag. But their sound is totally their own: fresh without turning tacky, and poppy without the perils of glamour.