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In this postmodern age, it's sometimes hard to tell the difference between a brilliant, faithfully executed parody and the real thing (see: Die Antwoord) — and that's exactly the case with Bad's self-titled debut. What is certain is that the album packs such a broad range of rock clichés into its 33-minute run time that it's hard to know what, exactly, the band is mocking, if that's even the case. There's the melodramatic touch of opening with a shouted a cappella poem, the Cheap Trick butt rock of "Where THE Bad Kids ARE," the Thriller-type Dracula breakdown in "When I Die." Carter James's vocals sound like a combination of an opera-singer spoof and the B-52s' Fred Schneider. A couple of songs traffic in sad-key, Alanis Morissette-style piano ballads. It's a glorious, confusing mess, and it all adds up to a wink and a nod...or maybe it doesn't.

Keep Westword Free... Since we started Westword, it has been defined as the free, independent voice of Denver, and we would like to keep it that way. Offering our readers free access to incisive coverage of local news, food and culture. Producing stories on everything from political scandals to the hottest new bands, with gutsy reporting, stylish writing, and staffers who've won everything from the Society of Professional Journalists' Sigma Delta Chi feature-writing award to the Casey Medal for Meritorious Journalism. But with local journalism's existence under siege and advertising revenue setbacks having a larger impact, it is important now more than ever for us to rally support behind funding our local journalism. You can help by participating in our "I Support" membership program, allowing us to keep covering Denver with no paywalls.

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Join the Westword community and help support independent local journalism in Denver.


Join the Westword community and help support independent local journalism in Denver.