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CD REVIEW: Too Bad - Permission to Land

by: Cyrus Rhodes



"trippy thick rocked out dance ambience"





Artist/Band: Too Bad

Album: Permission to Land
Label: Independent Artist
Website: http://www.toobadmusic.com/

Genre: Psychedelic Rock, Alternative Rock, Dance, Punk
Sounds Like: Flock of Seagulls (on steroids), Bloodhound Gang, Cake, Dinosaur Jr. Modest Mouse, The Flaming Lips

Technical Grade: 7/10
Production/Musicianship Grade: 9/10
Commercial Value: 10/10
Overall Talent Level: 8/10
Songwriting Skills: 10/10
Performance Skill: 9/10
Best Songs: Hop Scotch, Believe, Into You

Weakness:  Short sided CD, A few winded songs, excessive intros-outros


Venice Beach based and TOO BAD are the pioneers of a new genre of EDM, "Astro Punk". Gerry Saint & Jason Napier bring their sound from the world famous Venice Beach, where Jim Morrison and The Doors has nothing to do with being an influence on their music. They just love Venice Beach and playing for people who understand  the new clash of Rock Guitar with Thumpy Beats, and Body Vibrating bass.

The CD gently takes to flight with rocking intro piece “Love Undercover.”  This song serves up infectious rocked out guitars painted against mesmerizing vocals, hypnotic lyrical content and driving rock rhythm that quickly lead you by the hand down the path of psychedelic musical indulgence. Track 2 “Up & Down” keeps things rocking with its methodical intro, psychedelic spaced out groove, impressive keyboard touches and accents painted against a grand mosaic of vivid sound. The dance-laden musical flow of this piece brilliantly moves like an ocean across the ears. Track 3 “Hop Scotch” is an impressive piece that is quite hooky, full of tasty guitar chops, and musical peaks and valleys that flow and ebbs its way through to emotional fruition. All in all one of my favorite pieces on the CD. This piece is remarkably thick to the ears as well with its Alternative Rock touches and hypnotic vibe. As the CD slowly unfolds I can hear many musical influences reminiscent of a classic Bloodhound Gang, Cake, Dinosaur Jr. Modest Mouse and even NIN to The Flaming Lips. I would classify this music as Punk, Alternative Rock with an out of control Indie College dance Rock flair. Personally I see these guys as a combination of NIN and The Flock of Seagulls on steroids. I can also hear experimental type music with classic remnants of 70’s disco rock, 80’s British invasion Punk glory days. The CD presents brilliant flashes of dance heavy theatrics, a rocked out ambience and all things rock n’ roll attitude related. You will also notice rich layers of instrumentation layered along the way full of dynamics, guitars, keyboards and synthesizer, infections moog, sonic ambience, well placed harmonies, thick as a brick low end rhythm section, exotic sound effects and enticing melodies. Saint and Napier showcase some impressive singing with an appealing vibrato, and impassioned feel. their signing works well across the board. Too Bad have clearly proves themselves with this latest release. They all possess solid musical instincts. During my initial research I discovered this band is quite the hot topic live down in Venice Beach. Playing live, Too Bad dishes out a cosmic fury and induces the same in their audience. It’s hard, it’s heavy, it’s rock and roll, re-imagined and reinvigorated.  From infectious “Hop Scotch” to catchy “Believe” to trippy “Into You” hypnotic “Bad” to melodic “Twisted” this CD has something for just about everyone. The CD ends with “Watch Yourself” the perfect finale statement for a CD of this caliber.   

CD is a bit short with just 8 tracks. Perhaps 4-5 more songs are needed to make this a fully loaded release. Some of the intros/outros are a bit winded and excessive. I wish there were a few more solo segments here and there. All songs over 4 minutes tend to drag you to the finish line. The mix barely has it’s head above water but is not the greatest most cutting edge mix I’ve ever heard.

Too Bad’s latest rrelease Permission to Land is what modern-day rock is supposed to be all about. The Saint-Napier dream team pretty much let it all hang out and as a result rock the house. Its strong suit is its amazing mojo sonic ambience and song for song musical flow. These guys get high marks from me for their overall mojo and attitude vocally but are never to over the top about anything. What's also impressive is the brilliant cutting edge signature sound these 2 bring to the table. Rock n' Roll is abut pushing envelopes or boundaries . This CD will be a real joy for those listeners out want that with a flowing trippy and thick rocked out dance ambience to fill their sonic space peacefully and unobtrusively. I recommend you just hit play, close your eyes and see where the party takes you.  So if you’re looking for a psychedelic musical experience with a psychedelic rocked out attitude, then I highly recommend you take a listen to the latest CD from Too Bad right away. 

Cyrus Rhodes