Led by the raspy, tattered voice of Sam King, Get Dead keep their Fat Wreck Chords debut purposely raw, with an equal number of punk-injected acoustic folk songs and simple overdriven tunes. NOFX's Fat Mike played the producer's role on Bad News, and wisely keeps the recording process hands-off to capture the spirited feel of a live show, with a minimal amount of overdubs (by members of Mariachi El Bronx, Angry Amputees, and Lagwagon). This simplified approach works for the band's traditional style of pub rockers, which hints at the Pogues' style of Irish punk smacked with Social Distortion's gritty, sun-soaked melodies. The songwriting is classic-sounding and passionate, with lyrics dedicated to tales of heartache, drinking, and times on the road, which are obviously subjects close to Fat Mike's heart, and help wedge the San Francisco five-piece within the Fat Wreck roster, even when Get Dead's music is slower-paced and lacks the double kick drum or heavy guitar distortion of their label cohorts. The crew's collective personality could best be described as weathered, but apparently living a nomadic lifestyle is as liberating as it is tiring, as stated in "Leave a Message": "Another night, another town, another show to play, another friend, another pint, another girl's heart breaks, buy us a shot, throw us in the van/If you give us no destination, you give us something we understand." Basic sentiments, but classic rock & roll all the same. In the same vein, this is an outing that feels ragged and understated, but also manages to pack the consistent, comfortable musicianship of a latter-day album by seasoned veterans.
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AllMusic Review by Jason Lymangrover