Wolf Jaw (formerly) The Bad Flowers
Hard Rock band, The Bad Flowers release their debut studio album 'Starting Gun' this Friday 16th February. The album is a follow up to 2016's self-titled EP and shows the great progression of song writing and musicianship of the band over the past two years. Formed from the depths of the Black Country in 2014, they comprise of lead vocalist and guitarist, Tom Leighton, whose signature riffs, fuzz emotive guitar and pure vocals have distinctive sound unlike anybody else. Bassist Dale Tonks provides a deep heavy groove and tasty bass runs that underpins Karl Selickis' chest pumping drums and impeccable rhythmic feel.
We first caught the guys at the O2 Islington Academy supporting Crobot and Dirty Thrills in June 2016 - a breakthrough year as The Flowers left local venues in a wake of blood, sweat and ringing ears when they opened for Canadian rockers The Sheepdogs in Birmingham, then onward to extensive tours up and down the UK to packed venues with Jared James Nichols and Scorpion Child, plus an appearance at Hard Rock Hell. ‘Starting Gun’ was recorded at Vigo Studios, near the band’s hometown of Cannock. The band chose this studio because they wanted to make a record that sounded like their roots and had the chance to work with long-time friend of the band and producer Adam Beddow, who has recently helped produce Diamond Head’s most current work.
Following the release of their first single ‘Thunder Child’ last September – you can immediately see why The Bad Flowers were named as one of Planet Rock’s ‘Ones To Watch’ with this great lyrical opening salvo which not only gained heavy airplay and was described by the radio station as “pure, dynamic, riff-heavy rock ‘n’ roll delivered with passion and prowess”, but also led to the band being asked to play at Planet Rock’s Christmas party in support of Blues Pills at London’s Jazz Café last November. ‘Lions Blood’ continues the Heavy Rock vibe, with its a great hook and sobered guitar solo, which would undoubtedly be great live, whilst I really like ‘Secrets’, another Heavy Rock track with a good chorus.
‘Rich Man’ is different from the first three Rock tracks – although another great track – it has more of a Blues Rock sound – and on the subject of contrasts – ‘ I Hope’ sees Tom singing and playing acoustic guitar, showing a completely different side to the band, but yet another song that I really like, with both great lyrics and rhythm. The longest song on the album ‘Let’s Misbehave’ starts again with Tom on acoustic guitar with the Dale’s bass and Karl’s drums building the tempo to the end, although ‘Who Needs A Soul’ brings us back to the pace of the first three opening tracks – a pure Rock song full of great guitar.
‘Be Your Man’ sees some great vocals from Leighton - another Heavy Rock song and another I’d love to see played live - whilst ‘Hurricane’ as it name implies – cannot fail to get you up and moving - a typical Bad Flowers Heavy Rock track. Talking of song names – ‘I Don’t Believe It’ unbelievably is not one of my favourites – but it’s still a Heavy fast Rock track with a good guitar solo and catchy chorus whilst the album closer – ‘City Lights’ – is very much a Blues Rock number with good vocals from all three band members - a classic Bad Flowers track. In summary an album that starts and finishes with good strong Rock songs with a tasty variety of acoustic, Blues and Heavy Rock songs sandwiched in-between. A very good debut album played by three musicians that complement each other so well.
The Bad Flowers play an exclusive album launch show at the Birmingham Asylum 2 this Saturday 17th February 2018 - playing all the songs from the new album plus more surprises. Special guests will be Them Damn Crows and These Wicked Rivers, with the show, unsurprisingly almost sold out. If you miss out on the launch, then the good news is that, in order to dovetail with the release of ‘Starting Gun’, The Bad Flowers will be special guests on Stone Broken and Jared James Nichols nationwide 12 date UK tour that starts next Thursday 22nd February at The Haunt Brighton and ends at The Fleece Bristol on Wednesday 7th March stopping off at London’s Islington Assembly Hall on Saturday 24th February. Their tour also includes an appearance at Planet Rock’s Winters End Festival on Friday 23rd February plus the Stone Free Festival at London’s O2 Arena on Sunday 17th June.