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Double Zero

Mike Badger

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Album Review

Having more than proved his talent as a singer/songwriter on his superb debut solo album, Volume, Mike Badger is back with his sophomore set, the scintillating Double Zero. And straight from the opening riff of the rambunctious "Bottom of the Hill," it's clear that this time around the former La is trotting into very different territory, a belief confirmed by his splendid cover of Roky Erickson's "Clear Night for Love." Having honed his songwriting craft on his reflective, heavily acoustic debut, Badger now moves back into the electric arena. Again he is accompanied by a group of old mates, including fellow La's compatriot Paul Hemmings, bassist Martyn Campbell, who joined Hemmings in the Lightning Seeds, and Space's Tommy Scott, among others. With their aid, Badger creates a breathtaking album that expertly weaves British beat with dream pop, then festoons the swatches with ribbons of garage punk fire, post-punk shading, and rockabilly riffing. The finished tapestry shimmers with the sheer pleasure of cross-fertilization and with the album's heady atmospheres and nuanced emotions. Lacing the set with strong melodies that encompass the spectrum from infectious to bright and brash, from soft wisps of sound to all-out rockers and on to moody musings, Double Zero is one of those rare treasures — a record for all occasions.

Double Zero, Mike Badger
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