The first time I heard Bad Suns was shortly after they came to my hometown. I was so upset with myself for not listening earlier because I knew within the first few songs I had missed out on incredible music and a fantastic show. The band has just released their sophomore album Disappear Here and continue to bring upbeat, 80s inspired tunes to the alt-rock scene.
Bad Suns consists of front man Christo Bowman, Gavin Bennett (bass), Miles Morris (drums) and Ray Libby (guitar). The album is 45 minutes of delving into the art of finding yourself again, romance, and simply just figuring out circumstances that everyone has gone through or will go through eventually. The sometimes almost-cliché situations actually drew me in because of the way Bowman bluntly states things a lot of people have a hard time putting into words.
The theme of Disappear Here is similar to their first album, Language and Perspective. Both albums acknowledge hardships and confusion and confront the search for human identity. The sound of both albums remain strikingly similar. Bad Suns didn’t experiment with many new things when it comes to vocals and instrumentals, which left me slightly disappointed.
The album begins with the titular song, “Disappear Here.” It brings a familiar and upbeat vibe while the lyrics illustrate Bowman’s uneasiness. Bowman exemplifies his poetic straightforwardness with the lines “I’m right / I’m wrong / I’m everything but sure”. I caught myself chuckling a little at these lyrics because I feel this exact thought every day about one thing or another. Again, a simple way of saying what many feel.
The third song, “Off She Goes,” is the stand out song for me. Here, Bowman hits his classic high notes that make their music unique. It compels the listener to want to get up and dance no matter where he might be. The song analyzes what happens to a person “when the light leaves her eyes” and she seems utterly detached from the world. Bowman brings it back by basically saying the cliché advice of believe in yourself and forget anyone who is getting you down. It’s nothing new, but that doesn’t mean it isn’t something we all need to hear every once in a while.
The album starts out strong, but loses me in the middle with the songs “Even In My Dreams, I Can’t Win” and “Love Like Revenge”. Their choruses are nothing but the repetition of their songs’ titles and lacked the creativity that I know the band is capable of. They both had beats I had heard before as well as predictable lyrics.
The album does pick up again towards the end, and Bad Suns really ties the essence of this record up nicely with the final track “Outskirts Of Paradise.” It’s an upbeat bop that the album needed to settle out the doubts Bowman had been dealing with. It leaves a feeling of hope with the listener. It is as if you can almost feel Bowman smiling into the microphone as he lets the final notes sink in.
Although this album didn’t impress me as much as the first, the ideas and optimism it brings forward are nonetheless important to consider. No matter what, Bad Suns will always catch my attention with their retro beats, enticing melodies, and vibrant stage presence. Thankfully, with a tour planned for this fall, none of this seems to be going away any time soon.