Bad Sneakers Looks Good on Tanooki Suit

By Deuce

Now, what Bad Sneakers does well on its latest album, Tanooki Suit, which will be in your faces on April 7, the group (or is that band?) does extremely well.

The piano playing is indescribable. The drums are this side of ineffable. And the bass, as is the case with all good electric basses, somehow has a way of keeping everything together.

You see, there’s really not much else to know about The Sneaks. There’s no accompanying artwork of the artists for this release. The album cover itself is little help. Ditto for the liner notes.

Instead, all we’ve got is the music. And, in no discernible order, the combination of live drums, serious bass lines, and winning pianos makes all the difference on the group’s latest project.

In fact, the drumming plays the foreground on most of the songs. We’re talking intricate strokes hear, a multiplicity of snares tightly wound around the kicks, and a vivacity that’s immediate, ebullient, and that keeps going no matter what.

However, as is the case on the duration of the album and on the titular track that kicks things off, the drums are mixed so well, and engineered so cool that it’s difficult to tell if they’re live. On some numbers, like this one and on “Dance Motherfucker” (you read right), those bad boys could be programmed.

But, it’s when you get around to tunes like “We Gladly Feast”, it becomes apparent that the drums are actually played, and with much flair, too. On this one, however, the lead vocalist comes up with a melody that’s sure to please on the verses, which actually steals the thunder somewhat from the animated musician on this album. It helps, of course, that the pianos are bright, coruscating, and programmed/played adeptly. The piano is the truth, on this cut. But when the high notes of the vocalist match its aplomb, this song—and the album itself—works best.

Such praise, however, shouldn’t detract from the bass lines. The prominence of that instrument on “Suit” is reprised on “Fuck Around”, yet another one in which the lyricism on display seems a step or two behind the musicianship. But when the music is this good, I don’t hear nary a sole complaining.

Nor will you.

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