Release Date: Oct 9, 2012
Record label: Triple Crown Records
A lot has happened since Bad Books’ debut album was released in 2010. In 2011, Manchester Orchestra released their third studio album, Simple Math, and Kevin Devine released his sixth, Between the Concrete and Clouds. 2012 has already seen Manchester’s own Andy Hull complete his Right Away, Great Captain! trilogy with The Church of The Good Thief, while Devine and his Goddamn Band released a live EP, Matter of Time.
What do you get when you cross KevDev with MancOrc? This lot, that's what... Fusing together members of Manchester Orchestra and singer / songwriter Kevin Devine, Bad Books’ second album has a wealth of indie rock expertise to draw upon. However, where their respective band and solo material trades in emotionally-charged upbeat music, the more energetic songs on this record (see ‘Forest Whitaker’ and ‘No Sides’) seem insincere, and a little over-embellished with instrumentation.
Kevin Devine and Andy Hull share a mutual love for literal lyrics and punchy power pop, so a collaboration between the two seasoned indie vets almost seemed inevitable. Bad Books, which pairs the duo with Hull’s Manchester Orchestra cohorts, is the perfect vehicle for two artists who share such common musical ground. Not quite Manchester Orchestra and not exactly a retread of Devine’s solo work, it’s a marriage of both, with the two acts meeting in the middle like a musical Venn diagram.