Eclectically bold and surprisingly brash, Ontario-based Bad Reed debuts manifold styles with their self-titled EP. Traversing influences from the obscure to the cosmic, Bad Reed allows listeners to sink their teeth into the group’s sound without divulging too much.
Born out of what appears to be a collective musical palette hailing from all corners of the collective genre consciousness, Bad Reed’s pictoral-like songs are evocative of contemporary jazz and rock while also reaching back to the celestial-tinged tendencies of the ‘70s. The end result is often akin to a space rock jam that evolves into a Hozier-esque ballad.
“Cassava” stands out with its sheer range, progressing from the likes of Mars Volta to Bad Bad Not Good and then back to something out of the post-grunge scene. Though somewhat amorphous throughout the utterly sprawling four minutes, the overwrought term “genre-bending” neither does the track justice nor accurately describes what the group has done. A prog-fusion of sorts, “Cassava” is enchantingly unidentifiable and begs the question what directions Bad Reed might allow themselves to wander in if crafting a longer track or where a full release might map itself.
What it is exactly that Bad Reed is going for may be unclear, but perhaps this is something of a pleasant departure from getting the entire gist of the band in an EP as opposed to beginning to salivate (musically, of course) and ask for more.