This week has been weird. I just haven’t felt quite right. Maybe it’s the fact that the weather went from my favorite fall feeling right back into summer in the blink of an eye or maybe it’s the anticipation of a girl’s weekend out of town meaning a short work week for me. Regardless, something is off and my music ADD has been off the charts. I needed something to calm down. Something that would make me sit at my desk and just lose myself. That’s where Sarah And The Safe Word’s new album ‘Good Gracious! Bad People.’ comes in and saves me from myself.
Right from the start of this album, I was hooked. “Welcome To Winterwood” kicks this album off with a perfectly theatrical sound that, although I could compare to bands like Coyote Kid and Avatar, doesn’t quite sound like anything I’ve ever heard before. A little old school Panic! At The Disco (yeah, that old school that I’m keeping that ! in there) before turning into just a spectacular wall of sound with brilliant strings hidden underneath powerful vocals. Dear lord, I was freaking hooked!
“You’re All Scotch, No Soda” replaces the theatrical-ness with a little edge. This track is absolutely rocking and instantly had me dancing around in my chair like a fool. There’s something painfully nostalgic about this song that instantly brought me back to the days of Cobra Starship but, again, Sarah And The Safe Word won’t let you forget that they have a sound unlike any other band out there right now. The breaks throughout this track are sudden but fit and kept the song moving at warp speed.
I really wanted to slow this album down because, before I knew it, the third track, “The Last Great Sweetheart of The Grand Electric Rodeo” took over my house and heart. There’s a storytelling element to this track that, although heard in the previous tracks, really takes the forefront and helps the amazing vocals stand out from the perfectly busy instrumentation. Even when the album slows down a tick for “A Celebration– With A Vengeance?!”, the vocals remain the focus. There’s no denying the talent behind vocalist Sarah Rose. I mean come on, I wish more bands had a vocalist like Sarah because it’s electrifying and exciting. Sarah keeps you on your toes just as much as the band does (like the amazing horn solo that comes in on this track).
“Sick On Seventh Street” kicks off with that broken down carousel sound that I always love a little too much. A bit creepy and bringing the theatrical side of this band back to the spotlight, there’s something a bit dark and spooky about this track and I instantly noted it down for any Halloween [small] gatherings I go to this year.
The intro to “When Oskar Fische Comes To Town” doesn’t set the tone for the power behind this track at all and I love it. Again, this band absolutely keeps you on your toes and continues to throw surprises at the listener and I can not explain the importance and genius behind that. Although one of the slower tracks on this album, this one was an instant favorite of mine. I chalk it up to the emotion felt behind every word but, honestly, this is just another genius track from a genius band.
“Something is Afoot On Old Man McGrady’s River” keeps the vibe of “When Oskar Fisch Comes To Town” alive. It starts off a bit slow and creepy before blasting through your speakers with a sense of vengeance. I was really loving this whole new moodiness brought into play by these two songs but that moodiness was replaced with pure beauty as “Bottom of a Bender” kicked off with a beautiful string and piano intro. Just as soon as I got lost in that beauty, the entire band came in with a bang and swept me off my feet. I know this review is all over the place but so is this band and “Bottom of a Bender” is a perfect example of that. Although I’m loving absolutely every single one of these songs that flies by, this one is, hands down, the best song on the album to really give you a taste of what this band is fully capable of.
A sucker for piano, the beginning of “The Miscommunication” was a favorite moment of this album for me. The piano tone is a bit old timey and, when combined with the slamming drums, the silky soft vocals, and, eventually, the rest of the band… again, all over the place and this shouldn’t work but Sarah and the Safe Word does it oh so well and without hesitation.
Do you like Nine Inch Nails? If so, I’m not sure that this band would be the band for you but the intro for “Disobedient (feat. Gerard D’Lor)” is absolutely for you. One of the most genius aspects of this band is the fact that they kick their songs off with an intro that is completely different from the rest of the songs. This is amazing but also makes it hard when you are trying to write a review upon your first listen. I honestly think my fingers may fall off from trying to get all of my thoughts down here before the thought is gone and the track completely changes course.
Sadly, even amazing things must come to an end and ‘Good Gracious! Bad People.’ comes to a triumphant end with “The Bonnie Dell House”. Again, the bluesy intro that is nothing short of rocking before the rest of the band comes in with an unapologetic sense of power, although I was sad to say goodbye to my first listen through on this album, it couldn’t have ended on a better note.
I needed an album that would catch me tonight. It was the only way a review was going to get done. To say ‘Good Gracious! Bad People.’ caught me would be an understatement. Stop whatever you are doing and let Sarah And The Safe Word take you on a mystical and fantastical journey with this album!
My Favorite Track(s): “A Celebration– With A Vengeance?!”; “When Oskar Fische Comes To Town”; “Bottom Of a Bender”
For Fans Of: Creativity; Theatre; Innovation; Anything (I mean, seriously, there’s something on this album for everyone)
Dance-ability: 9.1 out of 10
What My Cats Thought Of It: Both cats hid upstairs because I kept turning the volume up
How Badly I Want To See This Performed Live: 11 out of 10
My Overall Rating: 11 out of 10
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