Texas trio Bad Sports recently released their fourth full-length for Dirtnap Records, and now the band is back with a new video and tour!
Their new LP, Constant Stimulation, pushes their sound into a more modern sphere of punk. Orville Neeley (guitars / vocals), Daniel Fried (bass / vocals) and Gregory Rutherford (drums) have spent over ten years together and the progression is justified. This time, the production quality is more lean and tense, giving an air that is decidedly frustrated, more world-weary. And not to say that this isn’t an enjoyable listen – it’s just not the kind of record to pogo in a pit and shotgun a beer to. Bad Sports has grown in substance. There’s a balance to keeping enough of the old and forging ahead with the new to remain relevant and compelling.
Fans will find much to get enthusiastic over and feel invigorated about as Bad Sports is still great at simply being a stripped-down classic-leaning punk band with deep power-pop vs. proto-punk feelings. Make no mistake, though: Bad Sports are not a “retro” band. Constant Stimulation is simply a timeless-yet-modern masterpiece, that sounds like it could have come out of just about any era of rock, but is also as NOW as anything else currently out there.
Their history with its Texas peers of the same ilk paired along with their time spent in projects like OBN III’s, Radioactivity, Wax Museums and VIDEO (among others), has served Bad Sports well. They’ve honed themselves into being a complicated and calculating rock machine instead of just a talented party band, dishing out fuzzed-out fury, chugging chords and yelled vocals. Now, there’s a little more finesse and more care taken to let Neeley’s words and voice ring out; as close to sing-singing the band has come on a record.
This record moreso broils and stews over a response to the modern world and its eroding and addling effects, kicking its lyrics out to be heard clearly. No track exemplifies this better than the title track on which Neeley sings, “I need constant stimulation in my ears and in my eyes or I don’t sleep at night…deprivation chambers only worsen my dreams.” Maybe this more spaciously spare sound is their response to that veritable constant stimulation. Welcome to the modern age.
March 27 – Austin, TX – @ Hotel Vegas w/The Whiffs, Mean Jolene
March 28 – Dallas, TX – @ Three Links w/The Whiffs, Drakulas, Pleasers
March 29 – Kansas City, MO – @ Voltaire w/The Whiffs
March 30 – Chicago, IL – @ Cole’s Bar w/The Whiffs
March 31 – Detroit, MI – @ Outer Limits w/The Whiffs
April 1 – Toronto, ON, Canada – @ The Monarch w/First Base, Beef Boys
April 2 – Ottawa, ON, Canada – @ House Of Targ
April 3 – Montreal, QC, Canada – @ L’ESCO w/Pale Lips, The Hundred Steeples
April 4 – Boston, MA – @ O’Briens – w/Nice Guys, Far Corners
April 5 – NYC, NY – @ St. Vitus – w/Foster Care, Big City
April 6 – Philadelphia, PA – @ Ortleib’s
April 7 – St. Augustine, FL – @ Sarbez
April 8 – Miami, FL – @ Las Rosas
April 9 – Orlando, FL – @ Will’s Pub
April 10 – Raleigh, NC – @ Neptunes w/Personality Cult, Pie Face Girls
April 11 – Washington, DC – @ Damaged City
April 12 – Atlanta, GA – @ The Earl w/tba
April 13 – New Orleans, LA – @ TBA w/tba