Originally formed in 2010, British Southern Blues Rock group Bad Touch release their new studio album 'Truth Be Told' today. The 5-piece rock band from Norfolk, not only supported the Kentucky Headhunters on their critically acclaimed sell-out UK tour recently, but co-headlined on a UK tour with Australian Rock band Massive. They launched their new album last night supporting Whiskey Myers at The Dome in Tufnell Park and we managed to grab a few words with the guys beforehand - so watch out for that audio shortly!
The follow up to their 2015 debut album 'Half Way Home' sees Bad Touch celebrating Classic Rock with Southern boogie influences, supported with heavy guitar riffs and an iron-clad, tight rhythm section, in the great tradition of Black Crowes, Lynyrd Skynyrd and Led Zeppelin. The album, which was recorded at Mwnci Studios in Wales, features the singles '99%' and 'Made To Break', both remixed for radio by the legendary Rolling Stones engineer and co-producer, Chris Kimsey. Bad Touch line-up with Stevie Westwood - vocals, Rob Glendinning - lead/acoustic guitar, George Drewry - drums/keyboards/backing vocals, Michael Bailey - bass guitar and Daniel Seekings - guitars/backing vocals, and many of the tracks on the album were built around an idea or riff which was then developed by the band with each member bringing to bear their own life experiences and individual feelings to the mix.
The album kicks off with two punchy tracks, the opener 'One More Night' - all about lost love - which bops about with Bad Touch's arsenal immediately stepping up to the plate including keyboards and backing vocals - whilst their catchy single '99%' - which incidentally initially attracted me to the band - with it's '70's' intro - keeps the album bubbling as it rocks out! But it is the appropriately named 'Waiting For This' where the album takes off for mine - the promise of heavy guitar riffs, cool drumming and outstanding vocals - duly nailed with an enormous nod to Zep. Not quite 'The Lemon Song', but according to the band - "an angry song!". The rock baton - albeit not as heavy as the previous classic - is passed onto 'Under My Skin' - all about love unrequited - although in my case - love this one! And what better song title for a band with Zep influences than 'Heartbreaker Soulshaker' - all about being a free spirit - the flip side of 'WFT' - a much funkier track with some awesome guitar work from Glendinning.
'Take Your Time' slows things down - the message being don't be hasty - take a deep breath and a step back - a track which also showcases Westwood's vocal range and dexterity - complemented by the softness of Glendinning's acoustic guitar. And if you thought half way through the album that Bad Touch could not possibly take you in another musical direction - wrong. From its opening "1, 2, 3, 4!" the fresh and groovy 'Let The Sun Shine' (written unsurprisingly at Download) takes you down a path that smacks of the Stones! And taking of '70's intro's - Quo certainly springs to mind on 'My Mother Told Me' which is all about family support - but this stand-out track's metamorphosis gives me the sneaking suspicion that they have been keeping 'Bad Company'! So step forward 'Outlaw' with it's blistering guitar intro/outro plus Westwood's superb delivery of its Western lyrics - this is definitely Bad Touch's very own 'Wanted Dead Or Alive' - excellent. Follow that - well 'Made To Break' makes a good fist of it - with another great guitar solo - the subject matter being making the most of the good times before it all inevitably goes bang! 'Healing Hand' - about friendship, tolerance and forgiveness - (these guys are obviously deep thinkers) - builds nicely into a riff driven finale and the album's high standard is maintained and perhaps even bettered with 'The Mountain'. More boundary-stretching from Bad Touch in this beautifully crafted track which is not only heavy in its genre but also its message about the sustainability of our planet and our collective responsibility with pollution. All in all a delightful album that takes many positive twists and turns that takes Bad Touch well outside the constraints of their supposed genre. Catch them at Planet Rockstock this Saturday 3rd December - you will not be disappointed.