Beast Records (label)
18 March 2014 (released)
07 March 2014
French spunk rockers Head On have just given birth to their bastard child Bed Bunker, and we welcome the latest addition to the Beast family.
Franck Witch, sticks man for Head On, has swapped his drum kit for guitar, bass, keys and vocals on the Bed Bunker debut album. Support comes in the shape of Goulven Lerock (the band’s long time roadie), who plays second guitar on the album (although Goulven also helps out with the backing vox). To round it all up, Beast Records very own Seb ‘Boogie’ can be heard on ‘You Can’t Stop’ - offering additional backing vox. Yes, I’m as confused as you are!
Thanks to six-string arrangements and electronically generated rhythms, the sonic experience is what good rock n roll should be about: dirty, and in your face. Opener ‘I’m Sick’ has a mean, punchy beat with heavy riffs and blaring solos. Sick? Far from it, listening to this number is like one big adrenaline shot!
Somewhat underpinning the guitar sound and instead focusing on vocal work (with a lovely yet rather strong French accent) is what we get on ‘So Fine’, although things really sizzle toward the end.
Whereas ‘Rhythm’ is altogether more textured, starting out slow and with a punctuated bass rhythm, followed by gradual layers that culminate in crunchy and up-temp chord work.
Both bass, guitar, and percussion firmly anchor the beat on ‘You Can’t Stop’, a very punky number with lots of strumming energy oozing from the strings.
In contrast, ‘Drag Me Down’ kicks off almost mock-orchestral before gliding into a mid-temp rock grit that won’t drag you to hell but drag you nicely across the dance floor if you can be arsed shakin’ your butt to it. You can lose yourself in its beat and which changes the segments constantly.
‘Take My Way’ is founded on good ole rock n roll rhythm before it takes off and locks into a stonkin’ groove, making it impossible for the listener not to get sucked into it. I gladly take that way on a daily basis!
Boldest track on the album (and an exquisite cover version) is the Johnny Cash number ‘I See A Darkness’, further brought to prominence by Bonnie ‘Prince’ Billy (check out his video on YouTube during which he dances around Glasgow’s Necropolis cemetery, pulling weird faces). Though it comes as little surprise that Bed Bunker’s take on the song is neither Cash nor Prince Billy. The band have taken it to another level by infusing it with even more darkness (sonically speaking), resulting in a truly awesome rendition that delivers seething riffs, brooding vocals, and an overall intensity that grabs you and burns your very soul. And yeah, the blistering climax adds the final touch.
In contrast, closing number ‘Break Your Chain’ is more of an unrefined spit n sawdust arrangement, with a ferocious beat that hammers away during the entirety of the track. It’s all so wonderfully reckless and unleashes the inner wild child in everyone. Everyone that possesses an understanding of gut-derived rock, that is!
An impressive debut album by all means, but perhaps try work a little more on that accent…
(The album is available in 12” vinyl LP format, and in CD format)