Review: Bad Suns yearn for innocent summer love in ‘Mystic Truth’


Photo courtesy of Bad Suns 

Story by Trianne Newbrey / Contributing Writer 

Bad Suns return with “Mystic Truth,” their third studio album, with songs that ring reminiscent of a summer day that has yet to happen. 

Recently signing with Epitaph Records, the alternative-rock band from Southern California brings 10 new, feel-good songs that each tell of inescapable love-lust. “Mystic Truth” starts off with Bad Suns’ signature upbeat melodies and glittery guitars in their first single, “Away We Go,” and stays pretty consistent in overall energy for the remainder of the album.

“Quit looking for love you’ve left behind / Waiting for what you’ve yet to find,” lead singer Christo Bowman sings in “A Miracle, A Mile Away.” Serving as a gentle reminder that fond memories should stay as such and that better things are waiting “a mile, a mile away.” The song rings fondly of Bad Suns’ free-spirited, percussive-rich songs from their earlier records.

The album slows down in the middle for “Darkness Arrives (And Departs).” With lyrics that sing of reminiscence for a day long-gone, the narrator struggles with finding hope and solidarity in a seemingly hopeless future.

The energy picks back up with “Hold Your Fire,” the second single released. Wavy synths set up the upbeat song that pleads for acceptance and reasoning in the face of a crumbling relationship.

I felt this tap on the shoulder and just started singing the words, ‘Hold your fire,’ and immediately knew we had something special to work with,” Bowman said in an interview with Billboard about “Hold Your Fire.”

“Love By Mistake” lands the listener in a sunlit park in the middle of summer to experience an accidental love that’s meant to be. In contrast, “Howling At The Sun” gives the illusion of a late-night lover seeking a midnight adventure below the window of their love.

The record comes to a solemn close with “Starjumper,” when Bowman croons to the familiar theme of hopelessness with a soft piano ballad and then creates a positive shift in attitude by ascending into moonbeams to escape his problems.

Released only a few days after the spring equinox, “Mystic Truth” has staying power well into the coming summer months. With warm, day-dreamy undertones, “Mystic Truth” brings catchy anthems to turn up on warm summer drives.

Besides head-bopping songs meant for love-struck teens, “Mystic Truth” is nothing novel for the band in terms of musicality. In fact, the album plays it safe with cliché pop-rock beats and cheesy lyrics. The days of gritty guitars overlaying groove-based drums are past Bad Suns in the face of their new label. The only hailing truth that Bad Suns is still the alternative-rock band from their earlier records is their seamless ability to mix contrasting timbres into a cohesive song that only sounds like Bad Suns. Overall, besides a few standout tracks, the album serves listeners predictable pop songs that steer the band away from their indie roots but are still undoubtedly catchy.

Bad Suns are bringing their “Mystic Truth” tour to Nashville on April 10 at Cannery Ballroom with special guest Carlie Hanson. More information can be found here.

To contact Lifestyles Editor Mamie Lomax, email lifestyles@mtsusidelines.com.

For more updates, follow us at www.mtsusidelines.com, on Facebook at MTSU Sidelines and on Twitter at @Sidelines_Life.

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