Bad Ideas - Compromise (Cover Artwork)
Staff Review

Bad Ideas

Compromise (2013)

Shield / Fond of Life

What was originally an outlet for the songs of Sam Cook, Bad Ideas have now been fleshed out into a proper band and Compromise is yet another reason for us Brits to be waving a flag in the air to celebrate the bands that we have on our admittedly tiny island.

Compromise crosses a number of genres (folk, indie, pop, punk) without coming off as muddled, and it's more a case of using whatever is required to write, record and perform a suite of songs that are easy to listen to, easy to acknowledge and easy to like; although it wouldn't be found in the easy listening section at your local record store. The one band that comes to mind when reaching for a comparison is Jimmy Eat World and that's more through the slightly similar vocal styling of Jim Adkins and Cook, especially found during "The Easy Life" and "Lincoln."

Some bands struggle to take on this wider kind of musical approach, but Bad Ideas retain a sense of what is important throughout: namely melody, memorable tunes and a sense of integrity. The title track is up first and it's an understated beginning, with acoustic guitar and plaintive vocals before bleeding into a brief full-on appearance by the full band. This fuller method is used to good effect on "A Little Lost," in which Cook gets to display what is quite a flexible voice, well suited to delivering the lyrics in a number of ways, be it relaxed or angst-ridden. The best examples of the whole package are to be found in "No Secret; I" and "Dirty Habits," tracks which seems to contain all of the aspects found separately across the album, melding them into cracking tunes.

Compromise is the perfect antidote for when you need something intense to lift you up–without having your ears worn away by raging guitars and drums over which some grizzly bear is howling its guts out. If shit like Mumford and Sons can get people all weak at the knees, then Bad Ideas should be one of the biggest bands on the planet by now.