BADLAMB harnesses a hybrid of styles on Universal Anxiety. With a foundation in rock with pieces of metal and blues composition, the 11-track album presents a subtle aggression that’s been missing from Korean music. The four-piece creates crashing walls of sound throughout the album and is perfect for hard rock fans missing something that speaks to them.
“Peony” is a full track, but feels more like a band introduction. The slow tempo backed through the drums and bass gets highlights from the two guitars with vocals leading the way. There’s an underlying growing energy on “Peony” that feels like it’s preparing you for the album as a whole.
Universal Anxiety starts with “Demigods.” The plodding tempo that switches between simple verses and complex breakdowns adds a lot of stress to the eventual crescendo. BADLAMB isn’t a full metal band, but they are bringing those elements into the music with hints of blues composition coming forward. The songs aren’t thunder-crushing sonics and allow a lot of time for the entire message to be played out.
With 11 songs to play with, BADLAMB doesn’t just repeat the same thing over and over. “Wrongfully Accused” is a blues rock song that changes the entire tone of the band. The vocals are amazing and elevate BADLAMB beyond a cut-and-paste rock band.
It’s weird because on some songs I get that nostalgia from the late 90s nu-metal style that blew up in the United States. It could be from the way BADLAMB arrange the two guitars or just how they use pedal effects to create their crunchy sound. With almost 50 minutes of music, BADLAMB gives listeners a lot to handle and digest.
As always, one issue with this specific genre and the necessary effects use, songs can all have a very similar arrangement. BADLAMB addresses this issue really well with tracks all having individual highlights, but if you’re not paying attention, you might flow from song to song without realizing it. Take the time to give Universal Anxiety your full attention and it will reward you, especially on songs like “Stray Light.”
BADLAMB’s second album is impressive. The band’s rock, metal, and blues combination results in amazing music and a great experience for the listener.
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