It’s been a grueling 2 1/2 years since Chicago’s Bow & Spear released their debut LP Into and since y’all have been good this year they decided to release their latest 12″ EP Bad at Fun today!
I, for one, couldn’t be happier to hear this news. Into was an instant favorite of mine when it came out in 2015— it had a ’90s shoegaze/grunge kind of sound but it didn’t limit itself to one strict genre. It managed to be all over the place without sounding like a scattered mess.
This year’s offering is no different. That same musical diversity is present all over Bad at Fun while the heavy guitar warble, anthemic vocals, and hard driving rhythm section is present at full force.
The opener “Creeps” has the atmosphere and ethereal vocal harmonies of early My Bloody Valentine but with a more defined rock sound. Imagine if Nirvana had spent a little more money on Bleach and had it produced by Kevin Shields. It’s a ripper.
“Cool Vibes” fits that description even better and will get your head banging. The title track “Bad at Fun” brings the energy down a touch but quickly kicks into what is probably the heaviest wall of sound on the whole record.
At the middle of this 7 track album sits a gorgeous guitar-driven instrumental named “Saturday Afternoon T.V.” which serves as a nice intermission between the rest of the rockers.
The grand finale showcases the band’s apathetic side with the fitting title “Negativest”. The lazy vocal delivery builds into some serious bone-chilling screams by the halfway point and makes for a definite favorite of the whole EP.
You can decide for yourself whether or not Bow & Spear are truly “Bad at Fun”, but they’ve managed to make another damn fun record.
The album is available for digital purchase via bandcamp but to experience it in it’s true glory pick up the 12″ record from What’s For Breakfast Records. If you’d rather buy one in person you can catch Bow & Spear tonight at Reed’s Local on Belmont Ave. as they celebrate their record release with Milked, Aurora L’Orealis. RSVP here for free entry!