BADSTAR – If You Were Dead You’d Be Home By Now (2017)
Listening to “If You Were Dead You’d Be Home By Now“, the debut album by Australians BADSTAR, there’s one thing that never stops to amaze me from this modern age: if you have Real talent, you are able to create a very good album at your own basement.
Indeed, BADSTAR is formed by vocalist Shane Wilson, and Gary Arnold (guitars, bass, drums + anything else you hear on this recording), and “If You Were Dead You’d Be Home By Now” was entirely composed, arranged, produced, recorded and mixed (at a professional studio) by themselves.
Yeah, using Pro-Tools and some potent computer, but real instruments, this duo were able record a realy, really good melodic rock album.
It has been said million times – and it’s the real truth: 1) you only need good songs, 2) some capable performers / musicians, and 3) a decent recording studio.
You don’t need point 3) anymore if you have the skills, but still there’s not a machine or a robot capable to write a good melody.
BADSTAR are extremely good at points 1 & 2, with a knack for infectious poppy melodic rock tunes wrapped by catchy, feel-good melodies.
Shane Wilson has a very clean, tuneful voice which a found similar in color to Mike Reno (LOVERBOY) or Michael Voss (CASANOVA, WOLFPAKK). As multi-instrumentalist, Gary Arnold is a quite complete man also capable to obtain a crisp, bright production sound.
All sound really ‘fuller’ in “If You Were Dead You’d Be Home By Now”, even the drums (real) so hard to record properly.
And what about the songs? All are lovely, instantly likeable tunes.
The catchy ‘You never know’ has a vibe in the vein of country fellow DION BAYMAN (another self-managed talent), ‘Island in the sun’ is a beach-ready rocker with keys in the mix bringing to mind the happy LA melodic rock scene, while the cool ‘You never know’ has shades of WALTHAM.
“When your heart is broken” is a highlight with some CHEAP TRICK on it, the rocking waves of ‘Universal love song’ has some European feel, same with ‘Elodie’ which somehow recalls late CASANOVA.
The duo tries some synth orchestrations in ‘Our song’, while ‘Burning light’, another ballad but this time in a midtempo mode, is really well arranged in a NELSON fashion with extremely melodious vocals.
“If You Were Dead You’d Be Home By Now” results a very enjoyable, easy listening collection of songs offering of catchy and harmony laden guitar-based melodic rock music.
It’s really comforting when this type of self-managed albums come to life, obviously a labor of love from these solid musicians, very well composed, arranged and produced.
Really cool stuff guys. Keep ’em coming!
01 – When your heart is broken
02 – Island in the sun
03 – Wasted
04 – Burning light
05 – You never know
06 – Universal love song
07 – Elodie
08 – Our song
09 – You’re a disaster
10 – Hello there
Shane Wilson (vocals)
Gary Arnold (guitars, bass, drums, keyboards)
BUY IT !