BY MICHAEL TOLAND
Atlanta’s rock & roll hot streak continues with Don’t Go Out Tonight, the fiery debut from power trio Bad Spell. Though ostensibly playing garage rock, guitarist Bryan G. Malone, baritone guitarist Shane Pringle and drummer Pietro DiGennaro didn’t purchase Nuggets and stop there. The band explores the nexus of mid- and late-sixties guitar grunge, starting at the Sonics, continuing through the Litter and ending up in Detroit. Powered by burly riffs, raw singing (and we do mean actual singing, not screaming), and DiGennaro’s jet engine drumming,
Bad Spell’s energy level kicks the needle into the red, pulling back at just the right times, in order to make the next punch deadlier. The group’s blare is effective enough, but it’s put to use on songs with substantial melodies and a sense of actual craft. The band isn’t hiding an urge to be the Zombies underneath its crackle, but there’s definitely a vibe that says “Yes, Virginia, we know how to actually write songs.” That’s evident in the blazing “Sick On Love,” “Spellbound” and “Some Kinda Strange,” the almost rootsy “Jenny Lynn,” “Wastin’ Time On You” and “(Hey Hey Hey) Let’s Disappear” and the crunching powerhouse that is the title track. Indeed, there’s not a bum track here – every song is primed for maximum riffology. This kind of crash-and-bash rock & roll is becoming scarce, at least the kind that’s done well, so kudos to Bad Spell for taking an older model and giving it a turbocharge.
DOWNLOAD: “Don’t Go Out Tonight,” “Some Kinda Strange,” “(Hey Hey Hey) Let’s Disappear”