Billy King and the Bad Bad Bad by Lucifer Sam

Billy King and the Bad Bad Bad – “Tiger’s Den”

by Jay Armstrong

Some bands get it. The fact that selling your soul for rock n roll is about one-third what you put into the music and two-thirds what the crowd gets out of you. As an idealist, I like to believe in the natural organic fatalistic way an audience finds their band. An orgiastic aesthetic is everything. After all, what would metal be without band and show fonts being so indiscernible you have to stare at a flyer for a week while grounded for having a couple C’s on your report card to make out what the hell the damn thing even says? Billy King and the Bad Bad Bad have been on top of it since minute one. They create music that delivers exactly what you are hoping for when stumbling into Hotel Vegas on a Thursday night. The crowd they draw in are the usual mutant freaks with acute knowledge of seventies vans whose above-average intelligence is something each and every individual standing in front of the stage seems to bitterly resent about themselves. A resentment they spend the entire night in full denial that all those brain cells they club into submission regenerate over the daytime hours spent passed out before waking in the orange descending sunlight running late for their job at the pizza shop or freebasing Adderall to creative design something expensive with minimal effort. Underachievers have limited options. Certainly one could see this “Tiger’s Den” video as being yet another Lana Del Rey “Video Games” moment. Allow me to go out on a limb here saying there is no way anyone in the Bad Bad Bad has rich parents bankrolling the band’s publicity. Have you seen their haircuts? You don’t end up looking that awful with Daddy Warbucks on speed dial. Bet. This video offers up a visual representation of what they are about. It avoids feeling contrived or overselling cool. As far as collage concepts go, what else could we hope for?

This is not bold blind praise—we could talk over all four seasons of Alf listing the number of Austin bands who have made a hard left into soft safe mediocre nothingness to hang around boring us to tears long beyond their “fresh-by” date but at this point, it seems an impossibility; Billy King and the Bad Bad Bad are not a band solely hyping us on where they are, nor is it the unexpected notable progress we feel from them at every show played, it is where they are going getting us excited to be in proximity of what they are doing. I mean these guys are on their way to free tabs at Yellow Jacket in no time—I’m pretty sure only The Spits get that privilege so ya know it means something. What they have right now, with “Tiger’s Den” especially, is a sound stoking intrigue by how a group can mask so much talent and timing behind self-confident toughness to champion chorus-driven music in an anti-capitalist way; they may not quite be on the level of Holy Wave and The Bad Lovers just yet but my money is doubling down on this second album being a swift defining moment on their way toward leveling up with those two as equals. The new songs they have been adding to their sets are huge. Already having the charisma that would keep our eyes peeled even if they were mediocre, they seem to be feeding off the support this town is throwing their way and it is working out for both sides of the experience.

You will hear the rest of the details on the upcoming album as soon as we do.

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