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TRACK-BY-TRACK: Bad News Bears ‘Battle Scars’

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947225_10151575019428003_275801668_nCheck out a track by track of the new Bad News Bears album, Battle Scars below!

1.) Hold

“Hold” was originally slated to be the closing track to the album. However, after discussing with Nick Steinborn (The Wonder Years) what his opinion was on the track listing, I started to view the order in a different light. I think “Hold” is one of the most straight-forward rock songs I’ve ever written, and it wasn’t until we were recording drums with Will Yip that I really felt that way. The interlude kind of just slaps you in the face, and it’s something you don’t necessarily see coming. When writing a song, it’s easy to fall into a repetitive routine of: verse, chorus, verse, chorus. I was looking to do something a little different during the midsection of this song to keep the listener interested, and I love the end result.

2.) Best That We Can

This is one of those songs that I always had instrumentation for, but never completed the lyrics and melody. It wasn’t until one day when I was in the shower where I started jokingly creating a fast tempo’ed pop-punk song out loud. I was spitballing lyrics off the top of my head and the lines, “me and my friends are doing the best that we can get,” came flowing out.

After a few months, I came back to a voice memo I recorded in my iPhone, and decided to attach the same melody and lyrics to the empty chorus, and it seemed to fit perfectly. Not only did the melody fit the song, but the lyrical content fit what I was feeling with a lot of the relationships I’d been dealing with at the time. My friends mean the world to me, and it was really important that I have all of my best friends get together and do the gang vocals on this record. It was actually the first time we’d all been in the same room together in months, which made it a special moment for me.

3.) One in the Same

This track is one of the newest songs I wrote going into the recording of this album. When songwriting, I always like to pick up a guitar and see what comes out, especially when developing vocal melodies and lyrics. I never go into the songwriting process trying to be something I’m not, and I think that’s important. I’m really trying to break the barrier between genres and what is expected or anticipated when listening to music in this scene. I believe that diversity is what sets songs like this apart from other unsigned bands you see on websites that just sound like bands that are already popular. Don’t ever be afraid to carve your own path, and never conform because that’s what’s expected you

4.) Run Part I

I’ve always loved the concept of having an instrument, whether it be guitar or piano, playing one chords or rhythm while the vocal melody does the storytelling for you. This was the idea and concept behind this song. It was never meant to be a full track, but rather an interlude for the full length.

At the core of it, the lyrics are pretty straight forward. We’ve all made mistakes and if given a second chance, you wouldn’t hesitate to run until your legs gave out. In hindsight, this song now acts more as a homage to those you’ve lost. Sometimes time can’t heal your wounds until all you’re left with are battle scars. Good or bad, they serve as constant reminders and help guide you with your decisions in the future.

5.) Under The Carpet

A lot of the lyrics on this album were written during a depressing time in my life. I had just graduated college with a bachelors degree, but couldn’t find a professional job. I was stuck working a shitty laborious job, washing and detailing cars in a 90 degree basement with a herniated disc in my lower back. I felt completely down on everything I’d worked for, and began feeling senses of regret. In my professional career, love life, musical career, you name it…I couldn’t help, but shake the feeling of not being adequate enough (I did however change the age line of the song to “I’m only 25” instead of when I originally wrote the lyrics). Either way, this is one of those songs I’m glad made the record because it sounds nothing like anything else I’ve ever written. It does have a little bit of a Head Automatica vibe to it, and I’m totally cool with that because Daryl Palumbo is awesome.

6.) New Again

“New Again” falls into the same lyrical timeline category as the previous track, “Under The Carpet.” I felt like everything I ever had was completely falling apart around me, especially the people I loved, and it pained me to say that. I was just looking for some place to call my home emotionally. The chorus is kind of a rise above message that deals with living through the up’s and down’s of life. Even when things are at there worst, you need to dig deep and don’t look back from behind.

7.) Bloodsucker

This track turned out to be one of the most ambitious, and personal favorites of mine, as well as a few close friends. After the intro, the song really takes a complete 360 and goes into this waltz type pattern which wasn’t intentional. Sometimes when you’re songwriting things just fall into place, and this happened to be one of those moments. I really love the Saves The Day circa In Reverie style verse on this track. To me, it just seems to tie everything together perfectly.

8.) Run Part II

This being the continuation to Part I, which appears earlier in the record, was kind of a last minute decision. I was messing around with an acoustic one day, and came up with this simple chord progression and vocal melody. It seemed to be in the same vein as the previous song I had written, but wasn’t intended. In Part I, love was lost, but in Part II there’s a resolution. There are times when we’re not exactly sure what or whom we’re chasing after, until one day fate presents itself. There’s been too many times where I’ve passed up opportunities, and if there’s one thing I’ve learned in life it’s that you need to reach out and snatch it.

9.) Young Heart

Before I decided to go ahead with demo’ing tracks for Battle Scars, I was writing a indiepop/dance/electronica record. I showed one of my best friends a track I had called, “Young Hearts,” but he didn’t seem too enthusiastic about it. He told me it was good but he just wasn’t into that style of music. That statement completely flipped the script for me, and showed me that writing the songs that appear on this album is where my true heart is.

So, I took pieces from the once dance track and placed them into an instrumental which didn’t have vocals yet. I only used some of the lyrics and melodies from the original song, but for the most part the adaptation was flawless. No matter what, I still believe the message of the chorus is what matters. “They will call us crazy, but they’re better off naive and in love again,” is a reference to getting older, but more importantly how the older generation views our generation. We may be young and naive, but maybe we’re all better off that way. They do say ignorance is bliss. All in all, don’t be afraid to live your life with regret, or on other people’s terms. You only have one life to live.

 You can purchase a CD or buy concert tickets here. You can stream the album here.


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Angela Mastrogiacomo

Founder of Infectious Magazine & Muddy Paw Public Relations. Lover of passion, ice cream, and books.

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