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July 23, 2024

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Bad Manners
Heavy Petting (Moon Ska Records)

By: Alex Steininger

The legendary two-tone ska band, Bad Manners, are back with their highly infectious, mesmerizing, mighty fun new album on Moon Ska Records. Packing in loads of fun, alongside heavily danceable melodies, these guys are a must for any party. Coming from their late 70's and 80's roots, these guys bring the music from the past and revitalize it for the 90's.

The CD starts off with "Don't Knock The Baldheads," a mostly instrumental song. A very good instrumental at that, except for a very annoying feature. The random shouts and chants of the words "Don't Knock The Baldheads." The song kicks off with the chant, which wouldn't be so bad if it didn't occur again. But in the middle of the song they stop it to chant some gibberish, which really ruins the mood. Then they end the song with the chant again. I found it very annoying, and felt it ruined the whole song. "Down Berry Wood," the best track on the CD, will restore all your faith in this CD. The Harmonica adds an extra punch to the song, as does the keyboard. The song is calm and gentle, but still will get you dancing. It has a nice pop touch to the music, which will cause you to sing along with them. Birds chirping in various parts of the background of the song gives it a very mountain-esqe feel, which also gives off a relaxing vibe. The guitar is slow, yet powerful enough to get you stepping with its every move. A very nice, well-written song which will set the stage for a tremendous album. The title track will blow you away. The constant punch of the horns will knock you down, while the horns gentle breeze will soothe your soul. The guitar goes at it non-stop, providing an enjoyable upbeat that will get your feet in gear, and your body looser than loose. You may have been stiff when you started to listen, but now your body is in the hands of the music, and they'll ease any tension you're currently feeling. The keyboards are played to perfection, adding a tremendous amount of depth to the music. And the female backing vocals put the final touch on a fabulous song. "Randy Scouse Git" provides the hooks which attract. The verses are very up beat, with a hot guitar which will make you move or lose. The horns are packed with power, throwing their energy out with every blow. But the jump from verse to chorus is the most interesting part of all. It goes from a mid-tempo ska track to a rock-ish chorus that will get you signing along. It's like a time bomb waiting to go off. You'll listen and listen, and then when you can't hold it back anymore you'll start dancing and singing along. No wonder these guys have been around for so long. They're amazing. "Red River Ska" starts off with some nice horn work, and then the drums pound away, singling the rest of the band to jump in. The rest of the band gladly does, picking the song up into a very danceable number. The horns ride along with the song, adding a great slickness to the music. The bass jams away, giving the song a real strong hold. And the drums, they keep working overtime, giving the song a quick kick now and then. These guys do amazing instrumentals. This song is fire via your CD player, and if you stand too close you'll get burnt. The CD ends with "Go," another very infectious number that will find your lips and force you to sing along.

The CD started out very rough, and after the first track I wasn't sure if I'd like the CD or not. A few tracks later I was deep into the CD and in love. A bunch of listens later, and this CD earned its place in my CD player. A truly amazing CD, and I'm glad it's available in the U.S. If it weren't, it would be a shame. These guys have proved their timeless value, and why they have lasted so long. Pick up this CD today. I'll give this CD an A.

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