As loyal AMG readers might have noticed by now, I am a sucker for awesome song and album titles. This weakness occasionally factors into which bands I choose to review. As far as band names go, Bad Guys is pretty fucking weak (and definitely not to be confused with Bad Dudes). However, if that is the name your band is stuck with, you can’t possibly top Bad Guynecology as an album title. It’s brilliant. Sign me up.
Opening track “Crime” is an odd choice for first impressions, consisting of a monotonous semi-sludgy riff that goes nowhere for six-plus minutes. The only point of interest is vocalist Stu, delivering a lengthy tale involving a Tonka truck, and the eventual shoplifting of said truck. That’s a pretty weak payoff for a song called “Crime” — I was hoping for murder or arson, or at least larceny. Maybe these Guys aren’t as Bad as they seem? As a side note, Stu recently had the goddamn nerve to compare “Crime” to the Godfather trilogy in an interview.
The next track, “Prostitutes (Are Making Love In My Garden)” is about as self-explanatory as it gets. Atop a Clutch-styled groove, Stu delivers an overly-simple view of the sex trade that would infuriate the cast of Law & Order SVU. (Sample lyric: “The prostitute is always a woman/the customers are men.”) However, it’s also the best and catchiest song on the record by a mile. I would go see this band live, just to chant “Prostitutes!” a few dozen times along with them. Oh, and also this song contains handclaps.
As the album continues, the Guys choose to rely less on Stu’s humor and more on sheer musical heft. This is a bold move, and it doesn’t always pay off. Despite some sweet riffs, tracks like “World Murderer” and “Fabled Succubus” could be mistaken for any number of Clutch/Torche knockoffs. This could be seen as a compliment, since those bands are all better songwriters than Bad Guys are. On the plus side, the album does have a massive and surprisingly new-school production, which reinforces the music somewhat.
Bad Guys have a knack for making songs feel twice as long as they actually are, which, as far as knacks go, is a pretty crappy one. I find myself reaching for the skip button during “Motorhome,” only to realize that the song is a mere 90 seconds long. The 11-minute closing track “No Tomorrow” multiplies that by about 10, and the song’s general lack of direction doesn’t help either. Let’s be real, how many awesome 11 minute songs even exist in the world? The answer is “not many,” and “No Tomorrow” is not among them.
Essentially, Bad Guys is attempting to combine Clutch-style rock with the gutter humor and aesthetic of perhaps Turbonegro. While this doesn’t lead to a whole lot of repeat value on record, I’d imagine that this band would be fun as hell to witness live. Bad Guynecology may not be a substitute for experiencing the band in person, but it’s certainly a fun listen.