It’s a new era for indie music, and there are fewer rules for the alternative side of rock n’ roll than ever before. While there’s a certain framework that artists work within to create specific strains of rock, the aesthetic-driven intensity this style of expression was always meant to embody remains the same, and Bad Veins is seeking to represent a rather exciting iteration of the genre in their wholly straightforward new single “Wendy” this October. Rather than weighing down this song with a lot of unnecessary thrills and chills ala overindulgent guitar solos, Bad Veins makes things simple, fierce, and much more intriguing than what a lot of their rivals have been experimenting with lately.
The underlying and somewhat modest post-punk themes in “Wendy” are undeniable, but they’re not overstated in the cosmetic disposition of the music. Contrarily, I think the songwriting style is what tethers Bad Veins’ aesthetical approach to that of the old guard in alternative rock, specifically concerning how they lead us into a fever pitch.
This track relishes its anti-climactic release, but it also yields a tremendous amount of catharsis just in its unrepentant distribution of angst, which isn’t something that I see outside of the West Coast as much as I used to.
“Wendy” features textured guitar parts that, while packing plenty of oomph where it matters, aren’t overwhelming next to any of the other instrumental components. If anything, the guitars are rather conventional for how much kick they’ve got here, which is a testament to the skintight mixing of the music and overall attention to detail in the production quality. You can’t overvalue technical elements when it comes to making a leaner brand of rock than the mainstream is, and it’s obvious Bad Veins are in agreement with me on this issue.
There’s a little more angst to singer Benjamin Davis’ voice than I was expecting out of the gate, but it doesn’t reduce the clarity of the lyricism at all; it puts an exclamation point on the statements being made here. When you’ve got emotion behind a verse, the audience can pick up on it and connect with the sentiments of the lyrics, and it’s only through the passion that this singer is thrusting at us from behind the mic that we’re able to gauge how serious Bad Veins is about the narrative they’re constructing in “Wendy.”
If you’re a fan of the classic indie rock ethic that produced acts like The Killers not so long ago, you might be curious to hear what Bad Veins is putting up in their latest single. “Wendy,” as an identity-affirming single, is pretty artistically expansive and indicative of the style this band is coming to master right now, and I think this is probably the most direction-based look they could have presented to newcomers and longtime fans the same this fall. All in all, this is a twosome that needs to be taken seriously, and not just by the critics who have already joined the bandwagon – myself included.