ARTIST : BEST EX
TITLE : GOOD AT FEELING BAD
LABEL : NO SLEEP RECORDS
RATING : 8/10
WORDS : JOSH ABRAHAM
Best Ex are back with an infusion of punk guitar licks and pop-tinged lyricism, which allows for the new sound they were searching to be unearthed in this new E.P Good At Being Bad.
The band have always split their time between the U.K and U.S, but have always found a way to explore the roots in each country that are formulated in their music. From the dark humoured lyricism collected from their time in the U.K to the previous love of synth feels – this is a new Best Ex that are here to stay.
An anthem of missing someone, whilst being terrified of trying something new
The E.P opens up with an acoustic, open track that turns into an anthem of missing someone, whilst being terrified of trying something new and what ‘Gap Tooth (On My Mind) does best is harness the feeling we have all felt at some point. The open writing in this track shows that the band are not afraid to get emotional.
What follows next is the complete opposite as ‘Lemons’ and ‘Bad Love’ show off the darker side to their writing, but also the pop punk instrumentals we all love. It’s almost like the E.P just did a 360 on its listeners, but in the best way possible. Both tracks explore different ways of turning negatives into positives and vise versa. This is most prominent in ‘Lemons’ where the bands front lead, Mariel Loveland, reminisces over being her own best friend whilst guitars are smashing their way through the track as it sets the tone for the E.P.
‘Feed The Sharks’ follows straight after ‘Bad Love’ with a mixture of synth being happy at someone else’s miserable times, which is a theme picked up in ‘Bad Love’ but in a more grunge feel that brings the heat with scorching beats, compared to the uplifting elements in ‘Feed The Sharks’. The track starts out with some wavy beats that the band created in previous tracks but twisted and turned those beats into the new sound that makes ‘Feed The Sharks’ so infectious.
The ideology of being broken is throughout this E.P, whether it’s admitting to not being able to be with someone else, whilst getting over a previous love, or if it’s the honesty of never being enough.
One thing that this E.P does is the smooth transitions between heavy rock influenced tracks to acoustic ballads where front lead, Loveland, shows off her impressive vocals whilst a piano or an acoustic guitar is galloping behind her.
The transition from throbbing synth beats in ‘Feed The Sharks’ to the calm piano in ‘Two Of Us’ is admirable. In this beautifully played ballad, we’re able to get a true glimpse into the mind of the singer-songwriter’s life, but also how the band can turn this into a positive as we move into the last track of the project.
The E.P’s namesake ‘Good At Being Bad’ is a mixture of all the elements mentioned above and combined into the final track of the six-track project. This mixture of additive synth beats, heavy-hitting percussion and Loveland’s vocals bring this E.P to a natural close.
The ideology of being broken is throughout this E.P, whether it’s admitting to not being able to be with someone else, whilst getting over a previous love, or if it’s the honesty of never being enough. With these smooth transitions and being open about what’s gone wrong in her life, Loveland proves that this E.P is the band’s best work yet.
Good At Being Bad is out now via Alcopop! Records