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The Bad Things / Press

“Sounding like something from a different century, Bad Things have old world charm by the bucket load. They sound aged, traditional, unusual, and most importantly...cool. There are polka rhythms, accordion songs, horns, chants and a worldly approach to writing a song and not an ounce of flannel in sight...I love how the band have found this neat little niche in which to explore old musical styles that often aren't heard. The Bad Things ability to mix folk, traditional country, Eastern European, Western European, and quirky pop influences into something so mesmerizing makes it almost impossible to turn away from much less dislike...After The Inferno is the kind of record you'd hear on a steam ship, river boat, or expedition. It's an exploratory and rootsy record that keeps traditional sounds close to it's heart.”

“The Bad Things are born out of cabaret and drink. A motley crew, made up of urchins and drunkards, the Bad Things bring theatricality and tongue-in-cheek fatalism to a variety of genres. Taking cues from the likes of Tom Waits and the Pogues, the band piles accordions, mandolins, singing saws, upright bass and all manner of sqeezeboxes onto their stage, inciting polka riots and rowdy singalongs in their audiences. Really, when all is said and done, the Bad Things are perversely dedicated to creating a jubilant, boozy environment. They're the kind of band that could write a song called "The End of the World Polka" and have it be a sort of end-times dance of the damned, as opposed to the dirge you might expect. The Bad Things, if wiped off the face of the earth, would like to go out swinging.”

“The Seattle-based group combines a quirky, alt-pop, and a fusion medley of musical styles and instruments throughout the album. The music takes on a gypsy, cabaret, country, folk, and punk characteristic that is highly-creative, unique, and memorable..With song elements bordering on folk, alternative, and indescribable, The Bad Things know how to create music with soul and substance.”

“[The Bad Things] have concocted a blend of folk, jazz, country, jug, cabaret, rough pop, Balkan, and God only knows what else to come up with a sound that would go exceedingly well with a number of my favorite groups in this bandwidth: The Carnivaleros, The Woes, The Asylum Street Spankers, and so on, groups in which the roots element is very strong but, just when it rears its beautifully odd Americana head, commences to slipping and sliding everywhichwhere and beyond...Berg has one of those odd voices part stage presence, part nerd, part Dylan, part bad boy, but always strangely entertaining, and his ensemble is an aggregate of broken angels quite familiar with the mean streets but also mindful of the presence of redemption amid searing honesty and cynicism snarkily delivered.”

“Most “Seattle” bands have the power trio, the brooding singer, etc. Well, The Bad Things may have been like that in a past life, but they come off as a Depression-era jazz band playing modern rock..This is modern retro. The singer croons, the drummer swings, and the album delivers jazzy rockers and slow and methodical jazz style blues tunes, but it’s still rock at the same time...In the sea of records we all must tread through, [After the Inferno] shines out as something vastly different from its peers.”

“Seattle will long be remembered as ground zero of grunge, but that’s not the only music the city has nurtured in recent times. The Bad Things are an Americana group with a particular perspective, which includes conjuring ghosts of the city’s militant past—a place that outsiders from old weird America called home. Recorded with stringed acoustic instruments, accordion, gently brushed drums and even a softly intoned trumpet here and there, The Bad Things bring a contemporary sensibility to folk music.”

“It sounds strange to call a series of songs about death, alcoholism, thwarted love, larceny, and suicide inspiring. But After the Inferno, the latest full-length from Seattle underground cabaret stalwarts The Bad Things, always maintains a fighter’s spirit—and a brotherly bear hug of love—no matter how grave things get. The Bad Things have always reveled in that dichotomy. Like most of the band’s output, the songs on After the Inferno stir traditional pre-rock-and-roll ingredients into songs that use unashamedly pretty (if sometimes raucous) melodies to leaven the lyrical darkness. Black humor and sentimentality go hand-in-hand in The Bad Things’ wonderful pocket universe: It’s the place where Tom Waits and The Pogues dance jigs together during the good times, and cry on each other’s shoulders during the bad.”

“Beginning as buskers at Seattle's Pike Place Market, the Balkan-flavored sextet the Bad Things (instruments include accordion, banjo, trumpet and mandolin) released four albums in a dozen years, including the brand new After the Inferno, which adds Southwestern border sounds and some political lyrics to their punky folk cabaret.”

“Vaudeville, cabaret, drunken alley cat music, I have a soft spot for these genres. The imagery conjured by The Bad Things, both lyrically and musically, transports you to the dirty streets and back alleys of a 1920's metropolis. Grab your whiskey and forget about your heartaches, cause these drunken clowns got your misery beat.”

"The Bad Things play gypsy punk-waltz polkas for psychotic carnies"

“Six years ago on the rainy, polluted streets of Seattle the darkly funny band The Bad Things first took shape as an all-acoustic vaudeville group with a legion of instruments and a heap of charmingly devious characters. Traditional music collides with latter-day black humor and despair in a raucous cacophony of antiquated/obscure instruments like the accordion, banjo, melodica, saw and a pair of steel boob-drums called “the Funi ta-ta’s” to name just a few.”

"In their press sheet, Seattle "junkyard cabaret" outfit The Bad Things dubs their brand of punked-up klezmer boogie "the music of the Post-Apocalyptic Depression Era." A cursory perusal of any news source indicates that we've reached that milestone, so we might as well embrace the soundtrack. The Bad Things crank out a mad, spiraling gypsy swing that will appeal to anyone who loves DeVotchKa, Gogol Bordello, the Circus Contraption band or life itself..."

“WHAT: Known to some as Seattle's premier "junkyard cabaret" band, this sextet is a carnival on wheels. SOUND: As if a bunch of Gypsy marauders were performing macabre circus sideshow songs around a campfire in the middle of an abandoned cabaret that serves wine in a jug and mead on tap. FLUENCES: "Lyrically, I was inspired by the train-hopping gutter punks that I kept company with as a young man. While I never hopped trains, I loved the stories told while drinking under bridges and around campfires, and I think we all had a deep love for folk and old-timey music."”

"The Bad Things know that you're here for the show, for entertainment. They are a vaudeville act in that they help us forget our problems for awhile, we get caught up in it all. In a way it's too bad that the band is performing now because they may have missed their perfect venue: The Bad Things should have been playing the ballroom when the Titanic went down."

"If you've been wondering what "traditional post-apocalyptic music" sounds like, well The Bad Things will demonstrate. Formed from the aftermath of A Midnite Choir, they play folk and Americana laced with punk rock and dementia"

The Stranger's 2007 Bumbershoot Guide

"Working with the intriguing, antiquated ingredients of traditional Klezmer music, Appalachian balladry, and a strong streak of Gypsy folk and Mexican influences, The Bad Things are both charming and creepy."

"As an avid fan of the novel "Geek Love" and all things reeking of Coney Island, I find that (The Bad Things) demented carnival tunes...resonate vividly in my addled brain."

Kurt B. Reighley - The Stranger

"I never would have imagined such a display of carnival-esque debauchery. I was simultaneously delighted, amused, turned-on (!!), horrified, and inspired. The audience this band draws to shows are as much a part of the circus scene as the band itself."

Erinn J. Hale - ThreeImaginaryGirls.com

"The punk influence...courses through the sensibility of The Bad Things...the outfit mixes folk, mountain music, and Klezmer into a seamless and delerious live show...the (instruments) might all be acoustic, but the energy is bare wire punk, with a joy buzzer of hillbilly thrown in for good measure."

Nate Lippens - The Stranger