The Bad Times

The Bad Times

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The legend, as recounted in the liner notes, is that the Bad Times album was recorded in New Orleans in 1999 in one all-day session after a single day's writing and rehearsal by Eric Oblivian (Oblivians), Jay Reatard (Reatards), and King Louie Bankston (King Louie One Man Band), all of whom were looking to purge some personal demons more than they were planning on releasing the results. Originally issued as a limited-edition LP before the CD version (same songs, different running order) came out on Sympathy for the Record Industry in 2003, Bad Times is more of a curio for fans of the participants' main projects than it is a proper album. The four-track cassette recorder used to document the sessions is stretched well beyond its capacity, to the point where songs like "You're So Lewd" are just barely visible behind the wall of distortion. Despite the supposedly dismal circumstances of its recording, there's a fair amount of relative lightness and flashes of oddball humor here, but Bad Times is what it is: a lark by three friends made for their own amusement. It's a mistake to expect more out of this album than it can offer, but it's a fun listen on its own merits.

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