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Bad Way to Go

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Album Review

Considering the Bruthers released just one single, it took some digging to manufacture an entire album of material from their brief legacy. Sundazed, as usual, was up to the task, compiling the 11-track Bad Way to Go CD, all but two of the songs coming from previously unreleased studio recordings. Both sides of their sole 1966 45, "Bad Way to Go"/"Bad Love," are here of course, and "Bad Way to Go" is certainly the best of the bunch. Its tense, almost circus-like up-and-down riffs, archetypically snarling mid-'60s garage vocal, doom-clouded organ, and furious tempo changes make it one of the best '60s garage records to have escaped inclusion on the Nuggets box set. The previously unreleased "The Courtship of Rapunzel," recorded just a couple of months later, had a similarly manic-aggressive feel, though perhaps its roller coaster riffs were a little too similar to "Bad Way to Go" to raise it to the same level. A few more Alf Delia originals here are enjoyable teen outrage in the same herky-jerkyish style, the 1965 demo "I'm Gonna Be Alone" betraying a melodramatic pre-Beatles influence along the lines of Del Shannon, and the folk-rock-influenced late-1966 outtake "Walk in the Sun" offering evidence of possible growth into a more mature sound. But the brief set's diluted by some typically energetic-but-derivative garage covers (of the Beatles' "I Wanna Be Your Man," the Who's "My Generation," and the Blues Project's "Wake Me, Shake Me"), as well as an instrumental version of "The Courtship of Rapunzel."


Genre: Rock

Years Active: '60s

The Bruthers only released one single, "Bad Way to Go"/"Bad Love," in 1966. But the A-side eventually became one of the most highly regarded mid-'60s garage band obscurities after its reissue on Pebbles, Vol. 8. It was also one of the rawest garage band tracks to gain release on a major label (RCA), its furiously fast, shifting rhythms, berserk circular guitar and organ riffs, and malicious put-down lyrics bringing to mind something like a garage band at a harem. Although the Bruthers did do some...
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Bad Way to Go, The Bruthers
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