So, who the hell are Baddies? That's a stupid name, too. But eh, it's four dudes from Southend, Essex making some rock music. And by "rock" I mean something that definitely doesn't reinvent the wheel, but rolls pretty damn good on those old tires. Okay, that was the stupidest metaphor I've made in a while. I saw them at a festival here in Finland, at Provinssirock 2009. As I listened to their songs on MySpace in June, I was already thinking "hey, this is pretty awesome". But when I looked for their album, it was nowhere to be found. How come? They didn't have such a thing, yet.
Since April 2007, Michael (guitar, vocals) and Jim (drums, backing vocals) Webster (twins), along with Simon Bellamy (guitar, backing vocals) and Danny Rowton (bass, backing vocals, looking at you with his big, big eyes) have been pretty much regularly going out dressed in white button-up shirts (sleeves usually rolled halfway up) and playing some songs. But does that explain how can they go and play at foreign festivals without doing so much as releasing an album? Well, releasing a few singles is enough if the Brit music press loves you. They were praised in the Guardian's "new band of the day", on NME's Radar section (as no less than the main featured band), played on BBC Introducing stage of One Big Weekend and Glastonbury's John Peel Stage.
First, in autumn 2008 they released Battleships (b-side "Block It Out"), a damn energetic burst with a shout that might be eligible for the prize of "looks the most stupid written down": "whoop-whoop whoop-whoop whoop". Then, just before I saw them live for the first time, Holler for My Holiday (b-side "Handshake"). More of the same, but hey, more of the same is what everyone wanted. Finally, just before the album, Open One Eye (b-side "Little Scissors") in which the tempo's a bit slower but it's still recognizeable as Baddies.
And then, on 21 September 2009, what a load of people have been waiting for: their album, Do the Job. I got it today, because I had to order it from abroad. And damn, it's a challenger for my personal favourite album of the year, up against Future of the Left's Travels With Myself and Another from the few listens I've already had. The catch is, guess what, it's more of the same. It's catchy, fun et al. But above all it's uptempo. Everything Baddies seems to be uptempo. There are only two slower tracks on the whole album, "To the Lions" near the end and "Paint the City" at the end. And even though slower than the other tracks on the album, they're not exactly all that slow either. If this keeps up, it might be that Baddies' sophomore album will be, surprise surprise, more of the same and by then, it might run out of ideas. The problem is perhaps that they simply cannot write good slow songs, because, well, a slow song usually requires more of careful planning and talent - in my opinion, of course. But lucky me that I think speed is great... Until you've been moving at that speed for so long it gets boring. Fast speed also usually leaves less space for emotion, other than anger and having a certain kind of fun. You can relate to that for only so long.