What makes a record special? You’re probably thinking “Oh god, it’s going to be one of those articles”, and you would be right to do so. How can you possibly have a singular definition of what makes certain so special when it’s so subjective? When our responses to it are so personal. Despite this, one quote/definition has always stuck with me. Being interviewed in at SXSW in 2012, Billy Corgan, of Smashing Pumpkins fame, stated that bands needed to create worlds for fans to exist in order to survive. Looking back on it back on it Corgan may have only been half right, but he was onto something. Here’s where Bad Sleep fit in
The Olympia based three-piece have just released their No Fun, a collection of five new tracks available at their bandcamp. Musically Bad Sleep are explosive, brandishing a style of furious pop-punk – sort of The Clash circa their 1977 debut meets Patsy’s Rats with a bit of Slowcoaches thrown in for good measure, and it’s done so well. Back Door’s tale of unwanted person re-emerging in somebody’s life is a frantic banishing of demons through bombastic drums and fuzzed guitars, of course, it helps that Bad Sleep can conjure a killer melody as well. To have created something this good, on what is only the band’s second release, is pretty damn good.
But the music is only part of this release’s importance, and this is where Mr Corgan’s thoughts need to be expanded upon. Yes, Bad Sleep have crafted an exquisitely infectious EP, one that can be considered cathartic in its reliability, but the release is ultimately outward facing, encouraging activism.
“FOR 1 WEEK ONLY WE ARE PUTTING THESE TRACKS ONLINE TO TRY TO RAISE MONEY FOR THOSE ARRESTED AT THE J20 PROTESTS IN WASHINGTON DC” reads the statement on their bandcamp page before explaining that the release is a fundraiser for the week of solidarity with the J20 protesters. In short, Bad Sleep are using their music to create worlds for fans to exist in, but not in the way that Billy Corgan perhaps meant. Bad Sleep are creating worlds for their fans to exist by actively trying to change the one will all exist in, and that’s what makes them so special.