Bad Habit – Hear-Say

Bad Habit
Released 2005,Frontiers Records/Atenzia Records
Rating: 3.5/5

In the year 1986 Hal Marabel founded a band he called Bad Habit that hailed from the Southern part of Sweden. The aim with the band was to create music that mixed hardrock with melodic tendencies from the past experiences where the main influences came from bands like Journey, Toto, Van Halen and Boston but also from other genres such as blues and classical music. After a few member changes the band debut in 1987 with the EP YOUNG AND INNOCENT. Their previous album, ADULT ORIENTATION came 1998 so the band has been silent for a long time. And the line-up is the same as it was on the last CD as well.

HEAR-SAY is an album jammed with the music that Bad Habit’s all about, we’re talking melodic rock with harder influences in the background. Bandleader Hal has written the most part of the 12 songs besides “Tell Me Why” which the bass player has written and “Reason” where Patrik, the bass player has helped out. Of these 12 tracks there are 5 ballads which are too many for my taste. Many of the tracks have tendencies of being too pop-ish and could easily contend in the Eurovision Song Contest.

The better song that are of a higher class are “Walk Of Life”, “Alive”, “To Love You”, and “I Swear” which all are great melodic rock. All of the guys are experienced and talented musicians that all have been around in the business for a long time, but especially with mention are Sven Cirinski on guitar, he is kind of a forgotten guitar icon in Sweden and I do think he should gain more success. Then we have the skilled drummer Jaime Salazar one of the best drummers in Sweden today, the band have one problem though and that is the lead singer Bax. He sounds incredibly tired in his voice, that maybe depends on the fact that he haven’t sung for such a long time?.

Producer of the album is another well known man within the music business, Jonas Reingold. He is a  member of The Flower Kings, The Tangent and Karmakanic amongst others and has mixed HEAR-SAY in his own Studio, Reingold Recording, located in Malmö Sweden. The recording was done in V.I.P Studio by Hal Marabel from January to May last year and the production doesn’t enhance any surprises it’s just solid and reliable. I don’t know if Jonas have bought more sophisticated equipment to his studio because compared to other productions he’s mixed this one sounds more solid and full.    

I’d expected more out of this album.  Because of the 8 year silence I thought the band was going to deliver one hell of an album but I was deadly wrong. This is a standard album with few surprises that maybe grow on you the more you listen to it, instead the band relies on older fans to buy this familiar sound and I think they’re not going to attract any newer fans.

Bax Fehling – lead vocals
Hal Marabel – guitar, keyboards
Sven Cirinski – guitar
Patrik Södergren – bass
Jaime Salazar – drums

To Love You
I Swear
All That I Want
Walk Of Life
I Want To Know
Take Control
Tell Me Why
I’ll Be The One
I Can’t Help Myself
The Air That I Breathe