Bad Mechanics - Must Be a Suburb [7-inch] (Cover Artwork)
Staff Review

Bad Mechanics

Must Be a Suburb [7-inch] (2016)

Stonewalled Records

Bad Mechanics’ sound is a little difficult to pin down. There’s elements of punk, new wave, industrial and a couple of other things that I can’t quite put my finger on. One of the two guys in the band is also the mind behind Eradicator. If you’re familiar with that band you’re more likely to understand why this thing is so hard to define. Must Be a Suburb is a two song 7-inch and it appears to be Bad Mechanics first proper release.

A-side, “Must Be a Suburb”, is a mostly spoken word/yelled track that pokes gentle fun at the mundane nature of suburban life. Or maybe it’s just mocking the vapid in general. (There’s definitely some things in this song that hit close to home, but I’m not offended and I will not be requiring a safe space. Plus, where I live is more of a bedroom community.) Musically, it’s somewhere between Devo and Ministry. It’s also got a catchy vocal hook (“The dream is possible”, I think) that could have been from the theme song of an 80’s sitcom. It ends with a violent burst of extremely noisy digital drums. Good stuff.

B-side, “Kruses”, has a more traditional song structure. It’s a cover of fellow Chicagoans Sidekick Kato. It opens with a tasty organ lick that could have been on a Supertramp record from 1979 before amping up the aggression. The vocals are a bit distorted in what is otherwise a relatively straight forward rocker, at least by Bad Mechanic standards. It’s an earnest song about hanging out with friends. Must Be a Suburb is a fun little record. If you like your punk a little off the beaten path, do yourself a favor and check out ‘America’s Baddest Band’.