It's 1221

cd review: bad veins: s/t
21 September, 2009, 12:18 PM
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Reviewed on Monday, August 31, 2009 by Areti Sakellaris
Published on
4 Stars

It’s not hard to fall for Benjamin Davis and Sebastien Schultz of Bad Veins. The Cincinnati duo went from making music in an attic to performing incredible live sets, which garnered an ever growing word-of-mouth following. Dangerbird picked them up, and the band assembled a self-titled debut record so exemplary that the label produced it without any alterations. No small feat.

What began as an earnest solo project morphed into a duo when Schultz came onboard as drummer extraordinaire. Davis commands a penchant for personal narratives and his gorgeous, emotive singing style is rapturous.

Early in the morning when my mind’s so faraway, I begin to ask questions,” Davis begins “The Lie.” It’s melancholic and vulnerable, like most of their tracks, but it’s the delivery that saves the work from landing in wasteland that is garage-band punk or… emo. “This Ending” picks up steam with one of the band’s strongest sing-a-long choruses. For a farewell, “Go Home” conjures synths, drums, piano, fuzzy guitars and elegant harmonizing until their 1973 Pioneer reel-to-reel tape player runs out of tape, literally.

Whether it be the deliciously eerie pump organ on “Afraid” or their unexpected use of horns and strings, Bad Veins beguiles listeners into believing that a large collective of musicians achieves their sound. Nah, it’s two just dudes putting Cincinnati back on the map.


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