The Good The Bad And The Zugly - Research And Destroy (Cover Artwork)

The Good The Bad And The Zugly

Research And Destroy (2022)

Fysisk Format

No doubt I’m exposing my lack of breadth when it comes to punk knowledge, but somehow, despite this being the 6th record from The Good The Bad And The Zugly, this is the first I’ve heard of them.

Rather than expose my lack of knowledge any further, I’m just going to tell you about this record. It’s 36-odd minutes of Scandi punk smashed together with skate punk, delivered in a jagged, hardcore-y package, with the sarcasm, curled lip and frantic energy that the confluence of those musical styles suggests, frankly. Think The Ghost Of A Thousand or Dangerface. Or The Hives meets ETID meets Get Dead. Maybe even The Bronx meets Refused. Any of those really. But to pull things out a little more specifically, there are some absolutely gorgeous lead guitar lines and solos that focus on being genuinely emotive and not purely chaotic (“Diet 1-2-3” for example), there are some magnificently-spat lyrical couplets that, at times, could give Keith B or Matt C a run for their money. But all the while there is a real heft to the songs without losing that needling, trebly guitar tone that feels like it’s just forcing you out of your seat.

Given song titles such as “The Power of Beer”, “What’s My Rage Again?” And “The Original Incel”, then it’s probably fair to say that having a good time is more a focus of this record (and band, arguably) than anything more chin-stroking. It’s also seemingly where this group of musicians excel, because it allows them to make acerbic social comment, poke fun, tell stories and actually, make you think about the subject matter more than you might do if it were shrouded in metaphor. Ultimately, the truly impressive result is that you can either take the record at first listen; a familiar sounding but immaculately written punk record with both melodic and (quite significant) hardcore leanings, or you can dig a little deeper. Because there’s a lot more to be had here from both the musical and lyrical content.

I’m absolutely baffled as to how this band got past me to this point, but then Get Dead were going for over a decade before they really hit me with Dancing With The Curse. Whatever the reason that I’ve ended up being Johnny-come-lately on both these bands, I’m pretty damn sure I’m not the only one who has been missing out and if you think you might have too, then I would urge you to take the time to give this a go. I’m very glad I did for whatever that’s worth.