SINGLE RELEASE: Working Men’s Club – ‘Bad Blood’

WORDS BY JAY PLENT

Indie newcomers Working Men’s Club bring a sharp electro flair to their new single Bad Blood.  Combining influences from across the 70s, 90s and ’00s, there’s plenty to like if you’re a fan of clean-cut post punk with a little synthetic edge chucked in for good measure. Sonically it feels a little rough around the edges, much in the way your favourite nightclub might. Despite the sombre title, the track is violently upbeat, the band taking angular stabs at good ideas throughout, some of which land, some of which don’t.

Opening with sharp drums and mercilessly clean bass hits, you’d be forgiven for mistaking this track for a forgotten ’80s B-Side, as it embodies much of the fun, party-wise atmosphere of most of the era’s pop hits. Whilst comparisons can be made with Talking Heads, the track actually has something of a B52’s vibe. Much like a love shack, it’s sleazy and carefree, but with plenty of fun to go round. Guitars chug along, with riffs occasionally entering to enliven the texture, and the peppy synth that slams in with the choruses provides the track’s best uplifting moments.

All that being said, Bad Blood doesn’t fully realise its potential. A few new elements trickle in, yes, but not enough to keep things really interesting. There’s no progression or change that really pricks up the ears. Though the initial rhythm and yelping vocals are very characterful and fun, eventually the track just devolves into repetition. The band clearly have potential, and were they to embrace more of the madness of Talking Heads, who repeat only if it builds to a larger overall wall of sound, it’d be a serious step up.

However, despite this, Bad Blood does feel very distinct from any other new bands rolling off the perpetual conveyor belt of music. Also, as much as the repetition will be a hindrance to some, it works in the track’s favour in the sense that it is very catchy, and much as the chorus begs of us “be happy when the sun shines”, so to will you feel happy when this track plays.

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