The first song I heard from Bad Touch upon being asked if I’d be interested in reviewing them was Wise Water, the first track from their brand new album Halfway Home. From that first impression I heard a hard rock band trying to relive the chops of a classic blues rock band. I thought it sounded interesting, I thought it sounded fresh and inspired. Maybe it wasn’t original, but I liked what I heard; the groove, the attitude, all of that good stuff. However, that was just one song. I took on the album because I was hopeful that Bad Touch could top Wise Water on the remaining ten tracks of Halfway Home. Did they succeed?
One thing about classic rock sounding bands, and I’ve said this many times in the past, is that you’ve got to have something special. If you don’t then you’re just like the hundreds of bands who miss the old days and want to make music that sounded like the old days, rather than writing songs as they come naturally. With Bad Touch I genuinely hear that they are in fact writing songs naturally rather than trying to emulate the old days. I’ve heard some bad bands who completely lose all feeling in their songs thanks to their blind desire to sound like they’re from the 70s/80s and Bad Touch aren’t one of them according to Halfway Home.
It’s evident from how pretty much all eleven tracks are rather distinctive from one another, which is surprising. It was about the second time I heard the track Sweet Little Secret that I noticed there is a slight The Black Crowes sound to Bad Touch, whether they are an influence or not. It’s the way the band can groove and the way Bad Touch vocalist Stevie has a charisma that’s reminiscent of Chris Robinson. After I noticed that I started hearing it in songs like Wise Water, Waste My Time and Good On Me.
The influence of the blues is very evident in some tracks. The harder tracks like New Day and Motherload carry a blues attitude, but it’s most noticeable in the longer tracks like the slower title track Halfway Home. Preacher has a blues beat and riff, and the harmonica helps, but it has the attitude of their more up-tempo songs. Bad Touch‘s true calling card to the blues is the track called No Excuse. It’s this song where Stevie sings about finding the blues in the bluesiest way possible.
Of course the most distinctive song on almost any album is the slowest song. Something Someone is that song for Halfway Home. It’s got the blues, and it shaves away the attitude from what is actually a very well played emotional song which shows a great deal of intelligence behind Bad Touch and all of its members.
So did Bad Touch top Wise Water in the remaining ten tracks from Halfway Home? Yes they did, but not with every track. Halfway Home is not just another album by a band trying to sound like they’re from the 70s. While it sounds like it could have belonged to the 70s (or the 90s if you hear The Black Crowes influence as much as I do) it has an intelligence that not many other classic rock sounding bands have. It took a few listens, but I came to appreciate Bad Touch’s sound on Halfway Home. From the opening track to the bluesy middle tracks such as Preacher down to the final inspiring track Words I Never Said we have a good blues rock album, and it’s been a hell of an adventure listening to and writing about it.
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“Sweet Little Secret” – This was the track that got me noticing the significance of Bad Touch and Halfway Home. My first run through of the album honestly didn’t impress me, now did most of my second run through until I hit Sweet Little Sister for the second time and really listened to it. That helped me listen to Halfway Home in such a new light.
7.5 (Out of 10)
- Wise Water
- Waste my time
- New day
- Half way home
- Something someone
- Sweet little secret
- No excuse
- Good on me
- Words I never said