If I could Love I'd Love This

01. Down to Earth
02. Calculated Moves
03. Break Down
04. Obey
05. Graveyard Dance
06. Draw the Curtains
07. Break the Circle
08. The First Female Skydiver
09. Stand

Matti Norlin - vocals, guitar
Fredrik Haake - drums and baking trays
Gustaf Hielm - bass, violin and theremin


Tony Naima - Backing vocals

Produced at #31 Fryshuset, Stockholm
Recorded and mixed by Markus Ingberg
Produced by Markus Ingberg and Badge
Mastered by Thomas Ekberg
Artwork & Design by Mariam Zakarian
Art Concept by Mariam Zakarian with Fredrik Haake and Matti Norlin
Band photo by Caroline Hultman
Title idea by Monica Lidén
All songs Arranged by Badge

Released 2013-10-16
Reviewed 2013-09-26


Swedish newcomers Badge makes a pretty bold statement as a title for their debut album, do they mean that you cannot love if you don’t love their album? Strange title. The album itself has a fairly cool look to it but the layout of the booklet is fairly unimaginative and I have seen similar many times and none has been very good. It feels much like a band yearning for times long gone, I guess the seventies and that hardrock scene is when these guys would really want to live. But they do perform their music with so much attitude that it ought to make every other musician jealous. At least if you are to believe what the press info i saying.

It sounds like a voice from the past, the music is reminiscent of the hardrock from the seventies, I come to think of Led Zeppelin when I hear this. But when analysing that fact it is easy to see that they lack something, Led Zeppelin was fresh and exciting when they arrived, Badge is not. It sounds like a band who wants to emulate music of that era rather than an authentic band of that time. The production sounds more modern for instance, but not as a modernised version of the music of Zeppelin, it is not as fresh and well produced as most music that comes out today, but not as rebellious and dirty as one should expect from a band with attitude. The singer is authentic seventies, neither good nor bad if I am honest and the fact is that the band in alles sounds somewhere in between. Between the new and old and neither one nor the other, neither well produced nor poorly produced. It is an okay production.

It is a decent album, nothing fantastic, nothing amazing. I am not impressed but neither am I appalled so it is a fairly average album I would say. Most of the songs feel quite indifferent but the ending song called Stand is very good, a track I really like and like a lot. But only one song cannot make an album, can it? I find myself strangely drawn to the final track but at the same time very indifferent to the rest of the album. In a way I almost come to believe it is the seventies and for a while the stupid cell phones and even stupider social media disappears into something that is only described in an Orwellian dystopia. But only for a short while as my computer does not transform into a typewriter and neither does the infotainment system in my car change into a cassette deck accompanied with terrible speakers. Maybe this music works best with terrible speakers.

Unfortunately this album is a bit of a neither, nor sort of album. It is approved and average but it does not stand out in any direction. It is just that kind of album you play and then instantly forget that you ever heard, neither good nor bad. Good debut then? Not really, I don’t see them going anywhere worthwhile without significant style changes, it feels like they are embarking on a journey into a musical dead end. The last track is very good but the rest is average at best, this is a decent album but nothing that I will bring along on the rest of my journey through life.



Label: Perennity Records/Triada
Three similar bands: Led Zeppelin/Clutch/Gordon Fights
Rating: HHHHHHH (4/7)
Reviewer: Daniel Källmalm

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