Cover Art Courtesy of Big Machine/John Varvatos Records
NASHVILLE, TN (September 24, 2021) – Beauty blooms from discomfort. The second we squirm at the utterance of a lyric or the echo of a guitar chord is the moment we learn about our limits and, perhaps, make a change in our lives. BADFLOWER aren’t afraid of making anybody uncomfortable. The Los Angeles-bred and Nashville-based quartet—Josh Katz [lead singer, guitarist], Joey Morrow [lead guitar, backing vocals], Alex Espiritu [bass], and Anthony Sonetti [drums]—siphon stress, sleeplessness, sex, sadness, mania, pain, and truth into revelatory alternative anthems. Katz’s quivering confessions seep into climactic distortion and, like any good rush, you need more. They deliver this rush on their 2021 second full-length offering, This Is How The World Ends via Big Machine/John Varvatos Records. Listen here: https://badflower.lnk.to/TIHTWEPR.
“It’s hopefully more than just brutal honesty,” muses Katz. “To me, it’s sassy, uncomfortable, funny, clever, and sad. It wasn’t a casual process. It’s all in, so I’m all in. I don’t stop. I don’t quit. I cry a lot. I neglect everything else. There was no reason to set an alarm and wake up in the morning. There was no reason to do anything but make the best album possible. That’s what we did.”
The best kind of obsession catalyzed the process. When it came to production, the band took the reins, preserving an intense unpredictability. At the same time, Katz would watch and rewatch fan-captured live performances on YouTube in order to draw inspiration for recording.
“It was actually just because I’m a narcissist,” he grins. “We worked so hard to make it feel spontaneous, raw, real, and natural though. The drum takes are exactly what Anthony did in the moment. There was no demoing. We set everything up properly and pressed ‘record’. If it was good, it was good. Some of the vocal takes are first takes. We had no clock. It’s the most human thing we’ve ever done.”
The album teeters between searing nostalgic introspection on the acoustic intro “Adolescent Love” and the clarion call of “Machine Gun” where the title resounds, “This is how the world ends.” “Don’t Hate Me” hinges on a push-and-pull between palm-muted guitar and a chantable chorus. It culminates on a breakdown where his inner dialogue screams out before final strains of piano taper off. The ride comes to an end on the sardonically elegiac “My Funeral.” Soft strumming brushes up against visceral admissions such as “Imagine if I took my life, gave up on love, and died tonight?”, coated in a softly blissful delivery.
“It’s not as simple as saying, ‘I’m sad and want to die’,” he states. “It doesn’t paint me in the perfect light a lot of artists want to be painted in—or truly beaten down by the world and just trying to be the best version of themselves. I’m admitting I’m not trying to be the best version of myself. I don’t even know what that looks like. I don’t know how to change it. All I know is how to write about it. Now, we have this album.”
In the end, Badflower’s honesty burns in the best way.