A Little Bit Of Background:
Bad Touch return with a new album on June 19 called Kiss The Sky. This 5-piece classic rock band make music to dance to and words to sing along with. These guys have no interest in reinventing the wheel they just want people to have a good time, and by Christ at the moment this is something we all desperately need. The good news is they deliver with their usual aplomb. For those unacquainted with the band, they have been around since around 2010. They fall into the “new wave of classic rock” genre. Their debut album Half-Way Home came out in 2015 and since then they have released 2 further albums including the excellent Shake A Leg in 2018. They have toured like warriors around the country including some good-sized support slots including King King, Skid Row, Quireboys and Tyketto whilst also wowing at festivals including Wildfire and Ramblin’ Man amongst others.
Most of the 13 tracks are rocky southern blues with a couple of ballads thrown in to allow some pacing and variety. Their influences are pretty obvious and the main one here is The Black Crowes. They don’t copy/rip off as none of the songs are identical to the Crowes, these are often INFLUENCED by them. Like the aforementioned outfit, this album has lots of soul! Not forgetting funk or even gospel!
Onto The Songs In More Depth:
Some of the best cuts include opener “Come A Little Closer” which is surely a call to gig-goers not to stand back and watch but to get right down the front and rock. It is very immediate and stomps hard in a southern groovy way. It is impossible not to be moved to action. “Do you feel it” he asks. The answer is definitely affirmative. With a good tight rhythm section, some sweet soloing and strong clear vocals this is a fine opening to the album and most likely to the gigs (whenever they get started again). They keep it easy to join in on “I Get High” which they claim is not a drugs song but rather being smitten by love and wanting to spend your life with that person although the chorus does scream “sex” to me (that might be just my warped mind). It is all simple and effective party music. “Strut” is an encouragement to boogie, not dance per say but boogie, to groove to the music, to be taken over and have fun. It doesn’t have to be technical. There is even a nod to the Blues Brothers with the use of the lyric line to “shake your tail feather”. This is one of the songs that has that gospel feel to it especially on the breakdown.
“Can You Save Me?” takes it down a notch and is quite country in sound and vibe (apart from the funky ending. With some nice use of organ to add texture and even more class to a song which the protagonist needs to be saved from themselves and who they are. Lyrically they do head into redemption territory at times. In fact “Read All About It” mentions “redemption” itself. This has lovely pacing with that stop-start effect where the bass gets to shine. “Before I Die” is one of the more funky numbers which owes a little in places to “Living In The City” by Stevie Wonder. Of course it is rockier but it does have an influence. I really love the take down and solo on this. Both are sweet as sugar. “Sun And Moon” is a love song that floats between gentler sections with some organ to hard rocking grooves. It is a lovely blend of melody and groove (that word again).
A couple of other tracks to mention are the second ballad “See You Again” which for anyone who has lost someone near and dear to them recently will truly resonate. This is a eulogy to one of the group’s dads who recently passed away. It is thoughtful, kind, sensitive but never over-sentimental or maudlin. It really hits the mark and actually made me think of “Lean On Me” by Bill Withers musically at points. There is some nice use of strings here to add to the ambience of it all. Very tasteful. The last track (on the CD) is a bit different from the rest. “Something About Your Kiss” has a unique vibe here, mostly being gentle acoustic guitar until around 2 and a half minutes in when a fabulous guitar solo comes in. It only lasts less than a minute but it is very good. The ending is almost electronic sounding. It might be a bit “out there” for Bad Touch but I liked it. The song grew on me each time I heard it.
Another fine album by this band who want to entertain mostly but can allow themselves to have moments of contemplation showing their heart and soul. If this was the 70s and 80s they would be huge. They perform this style of music as good as anyone from that era whilst still sounding fresh and energised. There will always be a place for good time soulful blues-rock bands and anyone who loves that should get out and support this band.
Out 19 June!
Also, find more of my CGCM reviews here: Tom Cornell
Email Me at: Tom Cornell