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Bad News

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Album Review

Before you macho meatheads out there start hating on Ligeia for no other reason than their girlishly emo-flavored moniker, or the pin-up cover girl gracing their sophomore album, Bad News, keep in mind that the Massachusetts quartet are actually named after a pretty gnarly short story written by 19th century horror master Edgar Allan Poe, and that tough guy thrashers Annihilator also thought it was scary enough to write a song about. Now that everyone's settled down, let's talk calmly about Ligeia — the band — and said album, Bad News, which consists of 11 melodic hardcore ditties informed, not by gothic storytelling (look to labelmates, the Banner, for that), but by their very real, everyday experiences (even the stupid ones). Sounds boring, we know, but in light of all the hysterics and hyperbole inherent to drama-loving bands of this stripe during the later half of the '00s, Ligeia's comparatively measured songwriting approach is both refreshing and surprisingly enjoyable. Sure, characteristic songs like "I've Been Drinkin'," "Thanks for Nothing," and the title cut, abuse many genre clichés, such as alternating clean/dirty vocals, T.M.I.-type lyrics, and plenty of breakdowns to go with their chunky guitar blocks. But Ligeia mix and match these elements more astutely (and, again, more economically) than most, yielding some commendably catchy hooks, surprisingly straightforward hard rock riffs, and even tasteful, non-showy guitar solos on standouts like "Johnny Cash," "Bombshell," and (despite its dubious title) "Hot Mess." Even the not unexpected acoustic ballad, "Heroin Diaries," and an instrumental interlude named, ummm..."Interlude," offer some interesting nuances and seductive atmospherics, respectively. So even though, Bad News isn't about to revolutionize the melodic metalcore world, nor save it from eventual doom at the hands of its more publicly visible and exaggerated faction of bands, it's bound to gain Ligeia a few more fans, and maybe even a little respect from those who can appreciate the benefits of understatement, some of the time.


Genre: Rock

Years Active: '00s

Named after the chilling 1838 short story by Edgar Allan Poe, Ligeia is a product of the same western Massachusetts hardcore scene that in the 1980s birthed Dinosaur Jr. and Sebadoh, but in keeping with the times, this young act's sound is heavily influenced by its metalcore brethren. Not to be confused with the British goth rockers of the same name, Ligeia was formed in Springfield, MA, in 2003 with the original lineup of singer Keith Holuk, guitarists Ryan Ober and Chris Keane, bassist Matthew...
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Bad News, Ligeia
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