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Bad Bones - "A Family Affair" (CD)

Bad Bones - "A Family Affair" CD cover image

"A Family Affair" track listing:

1. intro — 128 Oxnard Avenue
2. Modern Times
3. Road to R'n'R
4. No way out
5. Ghost town blues
6. A family affair
7. Street dogs
8. Run over me
9. With the lights off
10. My head is upside down
11. Desperado (feat. Roberto Tiranti)
12. Don't let the spirits get in

Reviewed by on July 12, 2010

"Here's hoping Bad Bones is a little more fleshed out on their next disc. "

On "A Family Affair," Italian act Bad Bones plays a greasy boogie that has hints of Thin Lizzy, Motorhead and Kiss. While it's easy to praise the band for its inspirations, the execution sometimes leaves a little bit to be desired, owing to some basic riffs and uninspired songwriting.

Singer/guitarist Meku "Bone" Borra's vocals are a strange mix of Lemmy Kilmister and Gene Simmons that doesn't always work. On stuff like "Road to R'n'R" (the "R'n'R is rock 'n roll, if you couldn't guess), they lend the track a pleasant Motorhead feel. But on the largely acoustic closer "Don't let the spirits get in," the vocals sound horribly out of place among the more gentle guitars.

Bassist Steve "Bone," Balocco, of White Skull, and drummer Lele "Bone" Balocco do a good job of adding swing and strut to the proceedings. Lele's drum intro to "A Family Affair" particularly stands out.

There are several songs that stand out, including the aforementioned "Road to R'n'R," the southern-fried "Ghost town blues" and "A family affair," with its sing-along chorus. Unfortunately, there are way too many tracks like "Modern Times," "My Head Is Upside Down" and "Street Dogs," which, though not unpleasant, come off as quite a bit generic, despite some good solos by Borra.

The production is pretty good, though the vocals by Borra and Steve Balocco sometimes overwhelm the instruments. A little more bass would've been nice in places as well.

"A Family Affair" has some fun moments, but mostly comes off as harmless, generic hard rock. Here's hoping Bad Bones is a little more fleshed out on their next disc.

Highs: "Ghost town blues," "A family affair" and "Road to R'n'R`"

Lows: Plenty of generic sounding tracks

Bottom line: A largely generic hard rock album, with some great moments.

Rated 2.5 out of 5 skulls
2.5 out of 5 skulls

Rating Description
Rated 5 out of 5 skulls Perfection. (No discernable flaws; one of the reviewer's all-time favorites)
Rated 4.5 out of 5 skulls Near Perfection. (An instant classic with some minor imperfections)
Rated 4 out of 5 skulls Excellent. (An excellent effort worth picking up)
Rated 3.5 out of 5 skulls Good. (A good effort, worth checking out or picking up)
Rated 3 out of 5 skulls Decent. (A decent effort worth checking out if the style fits your tastes)
Rated 2.5 out of 5 skulls Average. (Nothing special; worth checking out if the style fits your taste)
Rated 2 out of 5 skulls Fair. (There is better metal out there)
< 2 skulls Pretty Bad. (Don't bother)