Ontario, Canada-based blues rock band Bad Reed have just released their debut self-titled EP. With their powerful mix of blues, rock, indie electro and metal, this newly reformed group are poised to become a major player on the indie scene, which is currently bereft of any real innovation from the blues rock sub-genre. “Punch It” is the first single from their debut and the accompanying video was released in Januray.
Bad Reed operated under a different name until late 2014, where there was a major reshuffle. Their original singer left the band and Austin Sharpe, then the rhythm guitarist, moved to playing bass. Sydney Sollazzo, with her highly trained voice, came on as lead singer while guitarist Graham Walker and drummer Costa Chatzis stayed put. With a new name and a new sound, the group are now ready to make waves with heady blend of passionate music.
“Punch It” is a very well-composed blues song as heart, but don’t tell that to metal, electro and indie fans. How do the band slam all these styles together without it sounding weird? An extremely high level of technical skill from each of the bands members is the main answer, with Sollazzo’s Nord Stage 2 synthesizer lending no small amount of assistance. Both the Nord, a close cousin of the Moog, and Sollazzo’s vocals add elements to the track which would normally not be found in blues rock. The creepy vintage tube-style synth mixes with Sllazzo’s vocals, which dip from almost folky to minor keyed-indie rock within a few moments. The bridge contains a duet between the Nord and Walker’s suddenly metal guitar, adding even more surprise. As the track settles back into 60s-era blues both bass and drums take over with a flourish to reveal the true colours of “Punch It” and leave the listener to contemplate and come to grips with what he or she just heard.
“Punch It” is the only song on Bad Reed’s debut which features the wiley Nord Stage 2, but since the band is so diverse in their sound, hopefully they will bring it back. The two other tracks on the EP, “Slackjaw Romance” and “Cassava,” equal “Punch It” in quality if not in style. The full EP can be streamed or downloaded for free on Bad Reed’s Bandcamp page, and their website has more information about the band plus a number of videos explaining their path from conception until now. Click below to see the video for “Punch It.”