Bad Mary—Amanda Mac (vocals), Mike Staub (bass/vocals), Bill Mac (drums), and David Henderson (guitar)—released its We Could Have Saved the World EP on 1 February of this year. The rock band sets the bar high lyrically, melodically, and instrumentally in a collection of six tracks that stay firmly in punk rock territory while flirting at times with alternative rock.
The EP begins on a frantic and energetic note with the headbanger “Creeper”. It’s pretty much what one would expect from a punk rock band, satisfyingly so: a straightforward melody, simple instrumentation, rhythmic drums, fiery guitars, and strong lead vocals. There is something of No Doubt in its earlier days that comes through this track.
Bad Mary doesn’t allow us to catch our breath after the opening number before launching into its second number. “Marz Attaqx” is still firmly in punk territory, with lead vocals in a different, higher register. There is even more energy in this tune but in a more directed, less frenetic way—almost as if the band found its melodic focus and every member is aiming straight for it. On top of No Doubt, one can easily imagine the band being a Green Day fan; one can also imagine the energy of a live performance of this number, especially with the anthemic quality of its lyrics.
Punk rock takes a small step back in “Trouble” where alternative rock steps in. The song is built on an electric guitar-led phrase and rhythmic drums, with the lead vocals going up yet another notch in its register. There was already attitude in the two previous tracks, but it takes on a whole other level in “Trouble”, flirting up and down in rhythm, register, and energy. The change of pace in “Cloud 9” comes both as a relief (of the good kind) and a surprise. A completely alternative rock contribution to the EP, its melody has a certain à propos dream-like quality to it at times. Yet another aspect of the lead vocalist’s talents comes to light.
The short “Meanwhile” takes listeners straight back to punk rock territory. It jumps unapologetically straight into it both melodically and lyrically, challenging listeners to think about why they are so concerned with day-to-day affairs that they become blind to the reality of a crumbling world. Bad Mary chose another solid punk rock number to close the EP. The short, anthemic “When You Think of Me” brings in yet again some clear early No Doubt vibes while challenging listeners to reconsider their judgmental attitudes.
With socially conscious lyrics wrapped in commercially strong melodies and instrumentation, Bad Mary has definitely captured my attention with We Could Have Saved the World. I look forward to seeing where they are going to go with their music and how much social change they are going to spearhead. More information about the band is available on their Facebook page and on their official website.
Pictures provided by RMG.