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All the Right Ways to Do You Wrong

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Album Review

As if the band name and album title aren't clues enough, the second album by Philadelphia's Bad Vibes is a 23-minute, 11-song festival of good old-fashioned bilious hardcore spew. "You're My F*****g Problem" and "Ask Me How Much I Care" are typical titles, although singer Geoff Gavin grudgingly takes a bit of responsibility for his ongoing bad mood on songs like "Almost Never My Fault" and "Overreaction Is My Forte." Musically, mid-period Black Flag is a good touchstone: the tempos are a bit slower than your average hardcore, but they're not Black Sabbath-style sludge. Guitarist Jesse Cole plays with focused intensity and an almost complete lack of flash; like all good hardcore guitarists, he's much more interested in forward momentum than showboating, locked in with bassist Mark Doyle and drummer Pat Durkin to create basically a three-man rhythm section. In fact, it's the gloriously overplaying Durkin who's the album's instrumental MVP; much closer to Keith Moon than Grant Hart, Durkin plays lead drums on practically every song, accenting practically every bar with flashy cymbal crashes and throwing in the occasional smart move like the way he subtly increases the tempo of "Ain't Having None of It" throughout the song. People who aren't already fans of the style will be put off by the lack of variation from one 90-to-120-second blurt to another, but All the Right Ways to Do You Wrong is a solid, unpretentious slab of hardcore.

All the Right Ways to Do You Wrong, The Bad Vibes
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