Our nation’s capital is brimming with United States culture and history; however, many music fans might recall D.C. as being a breeding ground for punk and hardcore bands throughout the late 1970’s and 80’s. The long list of prominent musicians the city housed is undeniably impressive, and make Washington, D.C.’s music scene one of the country’s most influential. It’s no surprise that Bad Moves would identify, and show such admiration for D.C.–see their twitter handle @badmovesDC. Although they’re not classified as punk, the music heard on the group’s debut self-titled EP surely draws some influence from the genre.
For instance, the opening track on the four-song EP entitled “Shitty Tomorrow,” captures the essence of punk through its pessimistic lyrics, but those same lyrics are offset by an overall fun and melodic garage pop track. “Come keep on working for a shitty tomorrow/ cause there’s nothing ahead, and it’s all that we got now,” is sung over catchy power pop guitar riffs, followed by harmonizing “oh-oh-oh’s.” The EP’s final track, “The Verge,” essentially follows the same formula as the opener. Each of these songs have an anthem like quality, and despite their dismal lyrics, you get a sense of hope through the music.
Sandwiched between the pop-centric opening and closing tracks are both more subdued, and at the same time, harsher than the rest of the EP. “Drain Me,” has a love/hate quality to the song, as the lyrics imply that living in the city is worth the hard times that follow–a sentiment many can agree with. Through the EP’s third track, “Get Slow,” Bad Moves display a slightly more pop-punk/alt-rock like quality, albeit less streamlined. Songs on the EP feature vocal harmonies from, seemingly, every member, giving the group a distinct and recognizable quality–although, fewer “oh oh oh’s” might do them some good.
Members of Bad Moves each played in separate bands prior to their formation, and you can hear that inconsistency on the EP– some listeners may favor the more garage-like pop tracks over the grungier alt-rock middle tracks, and vice versa. There is potential here, although, Bad Moves might need a little more cohesion to truly come into their own.